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Drug Treatment in Jails and Prisons

Drug use among prison inmates is an epidemic affecting between 60% and 80% of offenders under federal supervision. By requiring drug screenings at the State and Federal levels, providing successful drug treatment models, providing financial support for research and prevention, and projecting for future long-term commitment, the Federal Government provides effective treatment programs in order to rehabilitate offenders to become productive members of society.According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administrations (SAMHSA’s) Uniform Facility Data Set (UFDS) 197 Survey of Correctional Facilities, drug and alcohol counseling was available in about 40% of Federal, State, and local adult and juvenile correctional facilities. About 173,000 adults and juveniles were in those substance abuse treatment programs.

The Federal Bureau of Prisons (BOP) offers drug treatment plans to all inmates who qualify, prior to their release from custody, in compliance with the requirements of the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act of 1994. BOP operates several types of drug abuse programs, including residential programs, transitional programs, nonresidential programs, and drug education programs. Residential drug rehabilitation treatment is usually provided in specific units which are separate from general population units for drug detoxification participants. Transitional services programs provide continued care and support to inmates living in halfway houses who are making the transition from custody to society. Nonresidential treatment programs are nonunit based, as is drug education. In the fiscal year of 1997, the number of BOP institutions that offered residential treatment increased from 32 to 42. In the fiscal year of 1998, nearly 34,000 inmates participated in BOP treatment programs.

State corrections officials approximate between 70% and 85% of inmates need a degree of substance abuse treatment. In roughly 7,600 correctional facilities surveyed, 172,851 inmates participated in drug treatment programs in 1997, less than 11% of the incarcerated population. More than 13% of inmates who were undergoing treatment were under 18 years old. About 70% of prison inmates receiving drug rehabilitation treatment were treated in the general inmate population. The rest received drug treatment in specific units (28.1%) or in hospital inpatient treatment (2%).

Approximately 73% of local jails provide drug treatment or programs, with 32.1% providing detox care, 29.6% providing drug education courses, and 63.7% providing self-help and support programs. About 61% of convicted jail inmates who committed their offenses while under the influence of alcohol or drugs had received treatment in the past.

Prisons and jails also provide pharmacological maintenance programs, which include the long-term administration of a medication that either replaces the illicit drug or blocks its actions. These pharmacological applications include methadone maintenance, naltrexone treatment, buprenorphine administration, and other long-acting opioid maintenance compounds.

Many prison and jail inmates enroll in outpatient drug rehab treatment programs, which include a range of services, from professional psychotherapies to peer discussions. Counseling services include individual, group, or family counseling; peer group support, vocational therapy, and cognitive therapy. Aftercare support, crucial to relapse prevention, typically consists of 12-step meetings, occasional group or individual counseling, self-help and relapse-prevention strategies, and/or vocational counseling.




Our mission at The Hills Treatment Center is to offer a unique combination of educational and therapeutic drug and alcohol rehabilitation. In that spirit we present answers to some frequently asked questions. However, don’t stop here. Our knowledgeable and compassionate admissions specialists are available to speak with you personally 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

How do I know if someone is addicted to drugs or alcohol?
Diseases of drug and alcohol addiction are complex and impactful. We encourage you to speak with your physician, or refer to the symptoms checklists offered by respected agencies in the field of addiction research and treatment like The National Institute on Drug Abuse, or NIDA .
What drug and alcohol treatment choices do you offer?
At The Hills, we offer a wide variety of treatment choices ranging from residential drug and alcohol treatment to intensive outpatient treatment, each applying the latest and best addiction treatment therapies. Plus, at every level there are counseling and support groups from which to select to maximize the process of recovery.
Is detoxification a painful experience?
Not if you’re detoxing from drug or alcohol addiction in a residential setting at The Hills, where you’re given round the clock care and attention every step of the way, safe and secure in a private room with counselors, message therapists, and world class chefs to aide and advise you in comfort.
What if your detox program doesn’t work for my needs?
That’s not possible at The Hills Treatment Center because all of our treatment plans are personalized to specifically support the rehabilitation and recovery of each individual client.
Can I receive treatment for more than one addiction?
Yes. The Hills recognizes that many people suffer from multiple addictions compounded by mental and emotional health issues. Our Dual Diagnosis program addresses all of these compounding issues.
Won’t drug and alcohol treatment put me behind at school?
We understand how important it is to achieve your academic goals, but that will not be possible without addresses the challenges of addiction. Through our Young Adults program we will develop a rehabilitation schedule that allows you to continue your education.
What happens to me after detoxification is complete?
You are not left alone after drug or alcohol detox. We offer a myriad of counseling and educational programs to support your rehabilitation and recovery including Relapse Prevention, Sober Living and Sober Companions, Family Outreach, and New Lease on Life.
Who comprises your staff?
The staff here at The Hills is led by eminent addiction expert, Dr. Howard C. Samuels; columnist, published author, television talk-show guest on the leading edge of drug and alcohol treatment modalities. Our team of experienced professionals and paraprofessionals often know first – hand what drug and alcohol treatment and recovery are all about. Our team is here to assist and support you at all times.


A guide to locating appropriate treatment, entering a rehab and more. Includes questions and answers, and a California Drug Rehab Guide.

• Family Involvement • Specific Drugs • Treatment Facilities • Financial Issues • Before Entering Rehab • After Drug Rehab • California Drug Rehab • Legal Issues

About Dr. Howard Samuels

Howard C. Samuels, PsyD is a leading drug and alcohol addiction expert. He is a licensed therapist with a Doctorate in Clinical Psychology with years of experience running two successful treatment centers, and is the founder of The Hills Treatment Center.

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