Inmates Entering Ohio Prisons for Crimes Linked to Opioid Use up 8.3%
Because of a state-wide heroin and opioid epidemic, Ohio is locking up hundreds of non-violent, drug-addicted offenders yearly. For the 13-year period 2000 to 2013, the number of people accused of possession and petty theft tied to heroinor opioid use went up to 8.3 per cent from 1.6 per cent.
The more than 400 per cent increase in the percentage share of inmates who entered Ohio prisons for heroin or opioid use meant about 1,700 people are sent yearly to state prisons. This costs the state almost $45 million annually.
The Governor’s Opiate Action Team attributes this development to failure of some Ohio judges, especially those who are assigned in rural counties, to understand addiction.
“Some people, including judges and prosecutors, see addiction as a state in which people have more control than they have … Opioid and heroin addiction is a compulsive disorder. In the early stages, people have very little ability to not relapse,” Orman Hall, the director of the Opiate Action Team, told Toledoblade.com.
To construct and operate a prison for 20 years, the cost is estimated at $1 billion.
Gary Mohr, director of the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction, at a recent symposium in Columbus on addiction, pointed out that that huge amount of funds would be better spent on the treatment of non-violent drug offenders in the community.
“You will do a better job than I will do in turning their lives around,” Mohr told community drug treatment providers.
Accounts of many addicts jailed tell of relapses occurring once jailed and despite months of staying clean because drugs were offered to their faces every day.
Common Pleas Court Judge Jim Slagle presides over a drugcourt where participants are required to report regularly to the judge and probation officer, call in for drug testing, join therapy sessions and the 12 Step Program, and attempt to find a job, which takes a lot of energy.
This prompted Slagle to comment, “It’s a lot easier to say, just go to prison. There are a lot of incentives and pressures to do that.”
While addiction experts acknowledge that no solution is perfect with opioid addicts sometimes relapsing seven of eight times, it is still considered a better alternative than spending $25,000 a year per person to send an addict to jail and add to its overcrowded state.
In Lucas County in northwest Ohio, Attorney General Mike DeWine provided a $650,000 grant that funds a pilot program to hire two new victim advocate and clinical staff who would assist addicts immediately after a heroin overdose.
One alternative solution rather than sending addicts to jail comes from BioCorRx, Inc. (OTCQB: BICX)which has developed an innovative approach to alcohol and opioid abuse treatment called the Start Fresh Program that is believed by some experts to be a “game-changer” in the rehabilitation sector. The Start Fresh Program is a two-tiered program used by local addiction clinics across the United States which involves an outpatient medical procedure and psycho-social coaching.
Thefirst component involves an outpatient medical procedure to embed a biodegradable naltrexone implant under theabdominal skin and fatty tissue. The implant then delivers therapeutic levels of the antagonist drug, naltrexone, into the bloodstream which can curb one’s cravings for alcohol or opioids.
The second tier of the program involves a private, one-on-one coaching program to address the specific needs of the alcoholics and addicts, as well as to help him or her plan for a life free from substance abuse.
Learn more information about the Start Fresh Program and about possible investment opportunities with BioCorRx, Inc. by visiting its new investor relations website www.BICXcorp.com.
The following article is from one of our external contributors. It does not represent the opinion of Benzinga and has not been edited.