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Employment Up, Crime Down Because of Addiction Treatment

A recent study conducted by the University of Kentucky's Center on Drug and Alcohol Research found a significant correlation between substance abuse treatment and crime rate. The Kentucky Treatment outcome study found that dependents undergoing treatment for their substance abuse addiction we're less likely to commit and be arrested for crimes.

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This study followed 906 randomly chosen participants undergoing treatment in publicly funded facilities and found that a mere 30 % of them reported cases of arrests after their treatment began. This is notches down from the 57% who reported being arrested during the 12 months prior to being treated.

Aside from less involvement in illegal activities, the participants we're also found to have more stable jobs, earning higher, and consuming less alcohol and drugs.

Saves precious bucks

On top of securing a fairly safe neighborhood due to the reduced crime rate, the state of Kentucky was able to save a total of $10 million dollars, which is approximately $4.98 saved for every $1 spent on providing addiction treatment services.

The bulk of this money, about $9.2, is attributed to to savings from arrests costs and a fraction of what remains is the amount that the state was able to save from taking care of crime victims.

Better quality of living

The standard of living of these participants also greatly improved in terms of, as mentioned above, their jobs and incomes. Notably, 47% had full time jobs a year into the treatment, compared with a rather meager 29% before treatment. Likewise, their average income experienced a rise from $445 monthly to $933 monthly.

Drinking and drug use also decreased dramatically, with 72% of the participants reporting to have not drank alcohol 30 days prior to the survey and 88% claiming they have not used illegal drugs in the past 30 days. Still on drinking, 86% of the participants report that they have drunk some alcohol but not enough to make them intoxicated.

Author of the study, Robert Walker, notes that all these findings support moves towards community based treatment approaches to substance abuse and other societal ills instead of the more commonly employed incarceration or imprisonment approach.

However, the state of Kentucky may have to wait longer to be able to make such a move as several considerations and processes are still in order. The first one being the allocation of more budget to treatment facilities, which is made difficult by the unavailability of enough resources.

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