Giving a Choice – Addiction Treatment or Jail
Katherine is 34 years old and lives in Dallas.
She’s never been fond of school, but she’s always loved working. When she was just 17, she landed a coveted position of leadership in an upscale restaurant. She was the first female and the youngest person by far to ever hold the job. By the time she was 19, she had her own apartment, her own car and substantial savings. She never thought she’d be making a decision between addiction treatment or jail.
When she was 26, Katherine read up on mortgage lending. Without a degree or experience, she talked her way into a job at one of the nation’s most respected banks. She quickly became a top performer. She was warm, funny and well-liked.
Around this time, though, Katherine started drinking too much and too often. One night after happy hour, she drove into an unoccupied parked car. Thankfully, her injuries weren’t serious, but she got her first DWI. She withdrew from her family. Her friends expressed concern.
In no time at all, she had two more DWIs for a total of three. That’s an automatic felony.
Addiction Treatment or Spend Time in Jail
In 1980, about 50,000 people were incarcerated for drug crimes. By 2013, that number had increased almost tenfold. Fifty percent of U.S. inmates are clinically addicted to drugs or alcohol. On average, 70 percent commit another crime after release from prison, and 95 percent return to drug abuse.
Just recently, an alarming number of overdose-related deaths occurred in holding cells around the country. Most jails are sadly understaffed. Many offenders can’t post bond. As a result, people who have overdosed languish unattended when they should be receiving urgent medical care. Hours go by before anyone notices that they’re fighting for their lives or already dead.
For those who survive an overdose, jail time is beneficial for sobering up. However, staying clean is a lifelong journey. Without continued counseling, therapy and a network of ongoing support, relapse is almost a certainty.
Treatment is not widely available in the prison system. According to researchers at Columbia University, only around 11 percent of inmates get the help they need. Diversion programs are on the rise, but they face stiff opposition from people who don’t understand the nature of substance abuse. It’s not a deliberate choice. It’s a disease.
Court-ordered programs keep addicted people out of jail and in long-term recovery. There are strict requirements, but when the choice is addiction treatment or jail time, it’s an easy decision.
How Did This Happen?
You probably made bad choices that lead to addiction, but it’s out of your hands now. Drugs and alcohol interfere with the brain’s life-sustaining functions. They trick your brain, so to speak, into rewarding harmful behavior. Even if you desperately want to, you can’t stop using without professional intervention. There are genetic, emotional and environmental factors at play.
Fortunately, you can get help and get clean. Faith-based programs are especially effective.
At St. Gregory Retreat Centers, we have your best interests at heart. Our experienced caregivers are devoted to your physical, mental, emotional and spiritual healing. Treatment incorporates medically monitored detox, proven approaches like cognitive behavioral therapy, family counseling and peer group sessions. We provide a safe place to share what’s on your heart without fear of judgment. You’ll be lovingly encouraged and held accountable by others who are on the same path.
You may voluntarily attend Bible study to learn more about Christ’s deep desire and mighty power to heal you. He longs to set you free from addiction and anything else that imprisons you. If it’s not the justice system, it may be your own fear, bitterness or disappointment with life. Whatever it is, Jesus can overcome it with grace.
A Second Chance with Addiction Treatment
If it weren’t for a loving God and a judge who decided that Katherine didn’t belong in jail, her life might have been wasted on a Texas highway or behind bars.
Katherine avoided jail by entering a faith-based diversion program. Her therapist helped her uncover the roots of her addiction and identify the emotional triggers that drove her to drink. She has been sober for seven years without relapse, and that is a rare thing. She works as a paralegal in the office of the defense attorney who fought to get her into treatment.
Katherine is the first to say that court-ordered treatment was the best thing that’s ever happened to her. Call St. Gregory Retreat Centers today for your own second chance at life.