There are lots of ideas about how to tackle addiction, many of them excellent ideas. But one concept is agreed upon amongst a considerable majority of Americans: We need to move away from the constant criminalization and incarceration of addicts and drug users.
Good news out of Tulsa, Oklahoma. The city implemented a “sobering center” about six months ago. A facility where individuals detained for public intoxication can go instead of jail. Sobering centers are good alternatives to jail time, as such centers specialize in referring addicts to addiction treatment and recovery instead of just putting them through time served.
We can all agree that our nation is struggling with a difficult substance abuse crisis. But what we can’t seem to agree on is how we are going to address this problem. Time and time again, we have the proof displayed for all to see that rampant incarceration, stereotyping, and criminalization of drug users does not work.