Many County Courts are partnering with “nonprofit organizations” to provide “addictions treatment” to felons who would otherwise be sent to prison. The felons receive “evidence based” treatment that was conceived in the ideological belief that addiction is an incurable disease, and abstinence is the only conceivable treatment.
Most drug-related offenders grow up learning life’s lessons in a world of drugs. They use drugs in a desperate but doomed effort to achieve and maintain an inherently transient state of perceived wellbeing. They excel in rationalizing regrettable behavior that satisfies pressing desires.
Addictions treatment helps some felons reform. But recidivists who have not been sufficiently beaten by the stick of prison will not swallow the carrot of treatment. They see addictions counselors as agents of the court who do not provide the wisdom, safety and support necessary to face the hidden fears that drive their uncontrolled drug usage.
We can reduce the harm caused by persistent problematic drug use by supplementing “evidence- based” treatment with nonjudgmental guidance that is not tied to the moralistic ideology that constrains addictions treatment protocols. Loving understanding and respectful guidance help people face scary truths and change their behavior. That is evidence based.