Resolution in Support of Evidence-based Medical Treatment for Substance Use Disorders

Resolution in Support of Evidence-based Medical Treatment for Substance Use Disorders

Summary

State spending on corrections has grown faster than almost any other budget item in the past 20 years, reaching nearly $50 billion dollars. Prison populations have risen dramatically and corrections costs have quadrupled. More than 50% of inmates meet the medical criteria for drug dependence or abuse[i], with adults on parole or supervised release (23%) from jail being nearly 3 times more likely to be dependent on or to abuse a substance than are their peers (8%)[ii].  The criminal justice system is the largest source of referral to addiction treatment[iii], with the overall criminal justice costs of opioid dependence approximating $5.2 billion annually. Despite scientific advances in understanding opioid and alcohol dependence and in developing FDA-approved pharmacotherapies to treat such diseases, current criminal justice policy has largely not embraced such approaches.  Substance use disorders often lead to a revolving door of arrest, incarceration, release to the streets untreated or undertreated, followed by rearrest and return to incarceration.  Evidence-based medical treatment should be made available in the treatment of offenders with substance use disorders.

Model Resolution

WHEREAS, state spending on corrections has grown faster than almost any other budget item over the past 20 years, reaching nearly $50 billion dollars[iv]; and the number of people in the criminal justice system has increased by more than 600% in the past 40 years[v]; and

WHEREAS, more than 50% of inmates meet medical criteria for drug dependence or abuse[vi]; and

WHEREAS, adults on parole or supervised release (23%) from jail are nearly 3 times more likely to be dependent on or to abuse a substance than are their peers (8%)[vii]; and

WHEREAS, up to one-third of all heroin users pass through the criminal justice system annually[viii]; and

WHEREAS, the criminal justice system is the largest source of referral to addiction treatment[ix]; and

WHEREAS, the overall criminal justice costs of opioid dependence is $5.2 billion annually.

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that ALEC supports policies and programs that partner correctional facilities and community health care providers in the treatment of opioid and alcohol dependence; and

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that [insert state here] supports non-addictive treatment plans, including non-narcotic medications, to treat offenders suffering from opioid and alcohol dependence; and

THEREFORE BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that [insert state here] supports the use of non-addictive evidence-based medical treatment in prison and as an alternative to incarceration.

 

Approved by ALEC Board of Directors on January 15, 2012.



[i] Josiah Rich, Sarah Wakeman, and Samuel Dickman. “Medicine and the Epidemic of Incarceration in the United States.” The New England Journal of Medicine. 2 June 2011. Page 2. Print.

[ii] US Department of Health and Human Services, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, Office of Applied Studies. “Results from the 2009 National Survey on Drug Use and Health: Volume 1. Summary of National Findings.” Rockville, MD; HHS Publication 10-4586. 2010.

[iii] US Department of Health and Human Services, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Service Administration, Office of Applied Studies. “Treatment Episode Data Set (TEDS): 1999-2009. National Admissions to Substance Abuse Treatment Services, DASIS Series: S-56, HHS Publication No. (SMA) 11-4646, Rockville, MD. 2011.

[iv] Josiah Rich, Sarah Wakeman, and Samuel Dickman. “Medicine and the Epidemic of Incarceration in the United States.” The New England Journal of Medicine. 2 June 2011. Page 2. Print.

[v] Josiah Rich, Sarah Wakeman, and Samuel Dickman. “Medicine and the Epidemic of Incarceration in the United States.” The New England Journal of Medicine. 2 June 2011. Page 1. Print.

[vi] Josiah Rich, Sarah Wakeman, and Samuel Dickman. “Medicine and the Epidemic of Incarceration in the United States.” The New England Journal of Medicine. 2 June 2011. Page 2. Print.

[vii] US Department of Health and Human Services, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, Office of Applied Studies. “Results from the 2009 National Survey on Drug Use and Health: Volume 1. Summary of National Findings.” Rockville, MD; HHS Publication 10-4586. 2010.

[viii] Josiah Rich, Sarah Wakeman, and Samuel Dickman. “Medicine and the Epidemic of Incarceration in the United States.” The New England Journal of Medicine. 2 June 2011. Page 2. Print.

[ix] US Department of Health and Human Services, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Service Administration, Office of Applied Studies. “Treatment Episode Data Set (TEDS): 1999-2009. National Admissions to Substance Abuse Treatment Services, DASIS Series: S-56, HHS Publication No. (SMA) 11-4646, Rockville, MD. 2011.

 

 

Keyword Tags: Justice Performance Project Task Force, Recidivism