Since the 1970s drug laws across the nation have mostly focused on enforcement of tough penalties. Many people were incarcerated for minor drug offenses.  Since enacting the Controlled Substances Act of 1970, the federal government has maintained a list of prohibited drugs in five different classes. These classes are referred to as schedules.  Each class of drugs are organized based on certain criteria like research or medical value and the addictiveness of the drug. Drug crimes include the possession, sale, transportation, and manufacturing of various drugs. These crimes have severe penalties including mandatory prison sentences, even for first time offenders. 

     Recently, Attorney General Eric Holder Jr. announced the justice department will attempt to change some of its policies when it comes to enforcing specific drug laws.  A recent New York Times article by Charlie Savage earlier this month quoted the Attorney General at the American Bar Association’s annual meeting in San Francisco saying, “Too many Americans go to too many prisons for far too long and for no good law enforcement reason”.  The Attorney General then proceeded to describe future plans of the Justice Department which will allow state and local governments to handle more cases and to focus on more drug treatment and rehabilitation, as opposed to long periods of incarceration for non-violent offenders.  With a possible shift in policy by the federal government, some states may decide to implement similar policies for the thousands of people incarcerated in prisons and jails for minor drug offenses.  Statistics from the Bureau of Justice estimates 155,900 inmates were jailed for drug offenses in 2002, which was an increase from 114,000 in 1996.  As recently as 2007, there were slightly more than 95,000 people in federal custody for drug crimes. This accounts for more than half of the federal prison population. 

     The recent shift in attitudes towards drug use by local and federal government could mean rehabilitation and counseling would factor into the court ordered programs for people convicted of minor non-violent drug offenses.

     Our rehab program for teenagers (Inspirations for Youth andFamilies) and our program for adults (Cove Center for Recovery) are designed to meet the specific needs of our clients. Doctors and addiction counselors work together along with the client to create an addiction treatment plan. Together, we can work to stop the vicious cycle of addiction and all of the negative actions that go hand-in-hand with drug and alcohol addiction. Call (888) 75-SOBER to learn more.