Treatment versus Incarceration

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Treatmentversus Incarceration

Treatmentrefers to the medical care that is offered to ill or injuredpatients. Incarceration, on the other hand, is a form ofrehabilitation that is given to a specific group of offenders.Substance use disorders can be handled using incarceration ortreatment. The paper discusses the advantages and disadvantages ofincarceration and treatment strategies used to offer care toindividuals diagnosed with substance use disorders.

Benefitsof Treatment

Treatmentexposes substance use patients to intense rehabilitation that canhelp them to recover from the condition. Substance use disordersinterfere with the normal thinking or functioning of the people.Programs such as rehab therapy are accessed during treatment bypatients diagnosed with substance use disorders (Tanner-Smith,Wilson, &amp Lipsey, 2013). Treatment is beneficial because whenoffered to substance use patients, it leads to desired outcomes. Forinstance, the patients resume their functional activities such asmobility and safe care if rehabilitation therapy is provided to them.Moreover, treatment offers care to individuals and ensures that thesubstance use disorder does not worsen. Furthermore, crime isminimized through treatment. Individuals diagnosed with substance usedisorders are likely to cause damage and perform criminal activities,if treatment is not applied. Treatment also helps substance usepatients to reintegrate successfully into the society. Most addictsare seen as a threat to the society because the drugs influence theiremotions and behaviors (Tanner-Smith, Wilson, &amp Lipsey, 2013).However, treatment is a rehabilitation strategy that helps substanceuse patients to gain their normal life. Therefore, treatment is aneffective strategy for eliminating and minimizing substance usedisorders.

Drawbacks of Treatment

Treatmentis not restrictive, and unqualified clinicians can be used to offerassistance. As a result, patient recovery may be impossible iftreatment is implemented because the therapists are likely toadminister inappropriate care. Confidentiality can be breached duringtreatment if the therapists fail to observe the healthcare ethics.Besides, treatment may involve offering care to the substance usepatients in their area of residence, which is unsupportive andunhealthy (Tanner-Smith, Wilson, &amp Lipsey, 2013). Progress isdifficult to achieve if the individuals are not provided with anenvironment that promotes provision of medical care. For instance,treatment may be offered at home environment, which exposes thesubstance use patients to the drugs. As a result, the environmenthinders the efforts to terminate the substance use disorders. Moreover, some individuals resist treatment because it restrictstheir freedom. Treatment is subject to time commitment anddeprivation of freedom. The therapists are required to monitorsubstance use patients closely to ensure that any health changes arenoted and possible issues solved. Substance use disorders requirelifelong treatment for the acquisition of positive results. However,therapists and patients may not have sufficient time needed foreffective application of treatment (Tanner-Smith, Wilson, &ampLipsey, 2013). Addicts are also required to seek permission toaccomplish their daily tasks when under treatment. Therefore,substance use patients and therapists may oppose some types oftreatment.

Benefitsof Incarceration

Incarcerationoffers substance use individuals with adequate time to reflect ontheir present and future life. The rehabilitation technique createsan environment that triggers the inner thinking of the addicts.People can accomplish honest inventory of their strengths, life, andweaknesses when subjected to incarceration. Therefore, incarcerationenables people diagnosed with substance use disorders to straightenout their life. Moreover, incarceration ensures that substance useindividuals are provided with the right medical care. The methodrestricts the movement of the addicts and monitors their behavior toensure that required medication is administered. Time needed toaddress the substance use disorder is provided if incarceration isemployed. The individuals are denied the freedom of movement makingit easy to implement the necessary medical care. Furthermore,incarceration minimizes the access to drugs. Substance use disordersare minimized effectively through incarceration because theindividuals are prevented from getting the drugs. For instance, thesubstance use persons are deprived of life pleasures, and freedomsthat could worsen their health condition.

Drawbacksof Incarceration

Incarcerationdoes not involve proper investigation of the problem. Elimination ofsubstance use disorders requires the involvement of therapist foreffective treatment. However, incarceration denies the individualaccess to the drugs, but it does not help them to recover from theaddiction. The cause of the disorder is not identified duringincarceration, and negative results are likely to be witnessed(Mukku, Benson, Alam, Richie, &amp Bailey, 2012). Life may not besaved through incarceration because the substance use persons undergosuffering, which could cost their life and health. The method is noteffective because the addicts are sent back to the society with thesame urge for drugs. Besides, incarceration is expensive toimplement. The drug addicts are contained in rehabilitation centersand provided with the basic needs. Medical care may also be offeredto the rehabilitated individuals. Therefore, incarceration isassociated with high spending, which hinders its effectiveimplementation. Furthermore, incarceration may not involve treatmentof the substance use disorder (Mukku, Benson, Alam, Richie, &ampBailey, 2012). A better future is not secured for the individualsbecause they are likely to encounter the same illness after theincarceration period.

Inconclusion, treatment and incarceration are strategies that can beused to handle substance use disorders. The choice for the bestmethod is based on the drawbacks and benefits. Treatment is viewed tobe more effective than incarceration because medical intervention isassured. Incarceration can also help to eliminate the substance usedisorders because the individuals are denied access to drugs.


Mukku, V. K., Benson, T. G., Alam, F., Richie, W. D., &amp Bailey,R. K. (2012). Overview of substance use disorders andincarceration of African American males. Frontiers in psychiatry,3.

Tanner-Smith, E. E., Wilson, S. J., &amp Lipsey, M. W. (2013). Thecomparative effectiveness of outpatient treatment for adolescentsubstance abuse: A meta-analysis. Journal of substance abusetreatment, 44(2), 145-158.