The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), National Institutes of Health, today released a landmark scientific report showing that effective treatment of drug abuse and addiction can save communities money and reduce crime. Principles of Drug Abuse Treatment for Criminal Justice Populations outlines some of the proven components for successful treatment of drug abusers who have entered the criminal justice system, leading to lower rates of drug abuse and criminal activity.
"This report is part of our ongoing commitment to using scientific research to provide solutions to some of the most complex public health and safety issues of our time," said Dr. Elias A. Zerhouni, NIH Director. "Not only does it offer research-based treatment solutions to judges and communities, it also provides information on how the criminal justice system can help reduce the spread of HIV/AIDS, hepatitis, and other infectious diseases among drug abusing offenders--all critically important issues in today's society."
Untreated substance abuse adds significant costs to communities, including violent and property crimes, prison expenses, court and criminal costs, emergency room visits, child abuse and neglect, lost child support, foster care and welfare costs, reduced productivity, unemployment, and victimization. The cost to society of drug abuse in the year 2002 was $181 billion--$107 billion associated with drug-related crime.
"We know what works to treat addiction, based on our scientific knowledge of the cognitive, behavioral, and physiological characteristics of addicts," said Dr. Nora Volkow, NIDA Director. "The principles of drug abuse treatment that we are releasing today represent the translation of research into practice. They are powerful and practical tools that will allow communities to choose between ongoing treatment or ongoing crime."
Principles of Drug Abuse Treatment for Criminal Justice Populations offers 13 principles base
Contact: Sara Rosario Wilson
NIH/National Institute on Drug Abuse