Abstinence Research Paper Outline

While only making up about a quarter of the US population, more than 60 % of the US criminal justice population is black or Latino.

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This research paper will concentrate mostly on the epidemiology, treatment, and public health implications of opioid and alcohol dependence among inmates in the US CJS.

While abuse of others drugs, such as cocaine and methamphetamine, is highly prevalent among offenders, much of the clinical and epidemiological literature on incarcerated persons has been limited to research involving dependency on alcohol and opioids.

Effective pharmacotherapy for opioid and alcohol dependence exists in the community; however, access to treatment in the US CJS remains inadequate.

Less than 10 % of local jail inmates received treatment (Karberg and James 2005).

According to the US Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS), in 2002, the prevalence of offenders who used drugs more than once a week for at least 1 month prior to incarceration exceeded 60 % (Karberg and James 2005) and approximately 50 % of those incarcerated at the federal, state, and local levels met DSM-IV criteria for drug abuse or dependence.

The large burden of drug and alcohol dependence within the US CJS complicates treatment programs since drug and alcohol dependency is highly associated with comorbid psychiatric disorders and chronic infectious diseases.The massive increase in the number of individuals within the United States (USA) criminal justice system (CJS) in the past 30 years can be largely attributed to the “War on Drugs” campaign with drug-related arrests increasing more than fivefold from 1970 to 2005.Many of the incarcerated individuals have a history of substance use disorders (SUDs), and have reported a use of drugs within the past month prior to arrest.From 1990 to 1998, the number of women behind bars jumped 71 %.This escalation of incarcerated women was mostly attributed to a surge in the arrest of female drug users.In addition to treatment, strong linkages should be established to ensure continuity of care.Failure to link services for offenders upon release to the community may increase recidivism, relapse to substance abuse, and increase transmission of sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) including human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), and viral hepatitis B and C to the uninfected.Substance abuse, as defined by DSM-IV, is demonstration of at least one of the criteria in Table 1 in a span of 12 months.Drug Abuse and Alcohol Dependence Among Inmates, Table 1 DSM-IV criteria for substance dependence and substance abuse.There are stark differences in METH use by race/ ethnicity.At the federal level, the prevalence of METH abuse among white, Hispanic, and blacks is 29 %, 5 %, and 1 %, respectively (Mumola and Karberg 2006). Among state inmates, 17 % of women used METH in the month prior to arrest, as opposed to 10 % of men (Mumola and Karberg 2006).


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