Many cities are faced with the challenge of using the money from taxpayers to incarcerate individuals who commit drug-related felonies. However, the problem typically results in an ongoing cycle as offenders continue to battle addiction after leaving jail.
Middlesex County, New Jersey, is one region that is taking proactive measures to save taxpayer dollars and help citizens get clean, according to the East Brunswick Sentinel. In 2004, the county instituted a drug court to help offenders stay out of jail by opting to participate in a detox program. Recently, the court celebrated its fourth class of graduates at the Freeholder Meeting Room of the Middlesex County Administration Building.
State Supreme Court Justice Barry Albin told the news source that it has been cost-effective for the county to establish a drug rehab program, rather than incarcerate offenders who are struggling with addiction. Participants, who are typically enrolled in school, must undergo frequent drug testing and counseling. By the time they complete the program, they are prepared to become productive members of society.
Approximately 8 percent of Americans age 12 and older admitted to abusing illicit substances within a 30-day period in 2008, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Drug rehab programs can provide addicts with the resources they need to get clean over time.