Drug and Alcohol

Why Is Rehab a Better Option Than Jail?

Why Is Rehab a Better Option Than Jail?

For desperate people, jail/prison can seem like an alternative to addiction care. It isn’t. Addiction treatment is far better in the free world.

Struggles with substance use disorder are unfortunately very common in the United States. If you find yourself facing this struggle, you could end up with criminal charges and even incarcerated. In addition, drug-related crimes each year in the United States are often associated with illegal substances. They can push you to jail where substance use is not addressed ... and it’s often easier to engage in substance abuse in jail than it is on the streets.

So, why is drug rehab better than jail?

Why Choose Drug Rehab Over Jail?

Spending time in an incarceration facility will not address your substance use. You could meet the qualifications for mental health illnesses and substance use disorders but may not even receive sufficient help. Additionally, if you leave jail without the proper treatment, you may return to using the substances and end up reincarcerated.

Crime rates tend to decrease when individuals are incarcerated with charges correlating to substance use. Although, if you are incarcerated, you may choose not to receive drug and alcohol rehab, potentially causing you to return to previous habits once you leave jail. 

Incarceration facilities can help you to clean up or dry out for a while. Yet, these facilities do not address substance use or provide medical attention in the same manner a drug rehab center would.

Without proper medical attention to help you with substance use disorder deal with issues such as withdrawal symptoms, you may find yourself back in similar situations, leading to repeated incarceration. Jails are not known to help find a clean lifestyle or maintain a sober commitment.

The Cost of Jail Versus Rehab

If you go into jail, the charges and costs are significantly more expensive than rehab. Treatment for substance use disorder is far more cost-effective than ending up in jail. If you chose treatment over incarceration, the judicial system would save billions of dollars every year. 

Additionally, time served behind bars can be longer than time spent in rehab. If you face criminal charges, you will often have additional expenses that cost more and last longer than any rehabilitation facility in the United States.

For example, if you are arrested for a minor possession charge, you can end up in jail or even prison for longer than a year, rather than a treatment center that can last 30 to 90 days. When substance use disorders and legal matters mix, you may find it challenging to overcome mentally, leading you to wonder if jail is better than rehab.

The Choice Is up to You

There are various treatment options available to meet the needs of your unique situation. Instead of facing incarceration charges, seeking addiction treatment can be a viable option. When seeking drug and alcohol rehabilitation, you can separate yourself from the substances with the appropriate services that meet your needs instead of facing jail time where proper attention is often unavailable.

It is ideal to be surrounded by sober support for substance use struggles, rather than facing isolation and unhealthy influences behind bars, paying excessive jail fees, or potentially facing multiple charges and reoccurring legal situations. If you debate between incarceration versus rehabilitation, consider the former a timeout versus the positives of choosing the latter. 

Incarceration will land you in a cell and tell you what you did was wrong. You will also have a lot of time to look around and be reminded of the negativity that preceded your current situation. 

Treatment facilities instead address the problem, care about who you are as a person, and teach you how to equip yourself with the tools to live healthily without relying on substances. Treatment is a fantastic choice to consider because it helps you change previous bad habits to healthy lifestyle choices.

When\ you talk to a rehab facility, they will approach your situation uniquely and individually. They will encourage you to address the nature of the substance use, help you eliminate drugs and alcohol from your present, and give you the skills and tools to help you maintain sobriety for your future.

If you struggle with substance use, you will find treatment an effective option to support yourself and those around you rather than being put into chains in an incarceration facility. While jail aims to promote behavior change, it does not address the core elements of the behavior itself. Rehabilitation will approach your situation without judgment.

Jail Is A Terrible Option If You’re Seeking Help For Addiction

Millions of individuals struggle with substance use. Many often wonder if jail is a better option than treatment. It isn’t – jail and prison are terrible, violent places that will only make substance problems worse. It’s also far, far easier to obtain drugs in prison than it is in rehab. Add to that the quality of help inmates receive for addiction and it’s hard to imagine a worse place to go for drug treatment.

The Edge Treatment Center provides effective, evidence-based, long-term outpatient care for substance abuse and dual diagnosis. Contact us today to learn more.

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Written by

brian-mooreBrian Moore

Content Writer

Reviewed by

jeremy-arztJeremy Arzt

Chief Clinical Officer

Drug and Alcohol

March 24, 2022