Substance Abuse

Substance Abuse The majority of people in prison and jail have a substance use disorder. 1 Despite the promise demonstrated by some treatment programs for people who are incarcerated, just a fraction of the people who need services for substance abuse receive it. 2 Connecting people incarcerated to treatment programs proven to be effective, prioritizing resources for those nearing release, and encouraging community-based aftercare will ensure better outcomes for people released from prisons and jails, and the communities to which they return.

Key Resources

  • National Recovery Month: Prevention Works, Treatment is Effective, People Recover Toolkit, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration's Center for Substance Abuse Treatment (2011)
    The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration's (SAMHSA's) Center for Substance Abuse Treatment, recently released the National Recovery Month: Prevention Works, Treatment is Effective, People Recover Toolkit. As a key conduit for several of SAMHSA's Strategic Initiatives, Recovery Month increases the understanding of substance use and mental disorders to achieve the full potential of prevention and treatment support services. It also helps people recognize and seek assistance for these health conditions with the same urgency as any other condition and aims to reduce barriers to recovery.

  • Understanding Health Reform, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration
    The Affordable Care Act was passed by Congress and Signed into law by President Obama on March 23, 2010. This resource explains how the comprehensive health care reform will affect you, your family, and friends.

  • Topics in Brief: Treating Offenders with Drug Problems: Integrating Public Health and Public Safety, National Institute on Drug Abuse (2009)
    This fact sheet summarizes the treatment principles and research findings that have particular relevance to the criminal justice community and to treatment professionals working with drug abusing offenders.
  • Substance Abuse Treatment and Public Safety, Justice Policy Institute (2008)
    This research brief summarizes findings on what is known about substance abuse treatment as it relates to public safety and the use of incarceration and also provides a comparison of state data on drug treatment admissions to incarceration rates.