There are many issues facing the rehabilitation field today. Some issues are approached with more concern than others. People feel that issues should be dealt with on a priority basis, and it seems that drug offenders are given a low priority. In my opinion, the most important issue that needs to be dealt with is the fact that most drug offenders are sent to prison and are not offered rehabilitation services addressing their addictions. .
According to society today, the best mean of handling drug offenders, once convicted, is to sentence them to prison. Unfortunately, there is currently a high recidivism among people released from prison. Prisons place large numbers of criminals together allowing them to associate with one another, resulting in the offenders learning more alarming habits. In a report entitled "Poor Prescription: The Costs of Imprisoning Drug Offenders in the United States, it was found that, since 1980, the number of persons imprisoned for drug offenses has increased eleven-fold, while the number of violent offenders entering state prisons has doubled and the number of nonviolent prisoners has tripled," (Justice Policy Institute, 2000). This study shows that the number of drug offenders sent to prison has risen tremendously. The large number of drug offenders is a serious problem that needs to be addressed by rehabilitation professionals. Drug offenders need help dealing with their drug problem, but instead our justice system feels compelled to place them in prison. The system places drug offenders in prison because it makes our society feel safe and secure. A more effective system would place drug offenders under the care of a counselor so they can work on their addiction and avoid repeating the same actions. We, as counselors, should come up with solutions to deal with this problem; yet, in the United States there has been little attempt to solve this problem. .
There are countries that are working to solve this problem, but the United States does not seem to be one of them.