For so long our laws have punished drug users by arresting them and putting them in jail. Most often, addicts are tried, sentenced and incarcerated, never having received any treatment for their addiction. They serve their time, go back to the streets and the only life they have known, continuing this vicious cycle.…and before long they are back in prison. The recidivism rate is high and the fantasy of rehabilitation is just that – a fantasy.
Recently, inmates in the Richmond, Virginia area have been offered another option. The Justice System is changing its approach, and some inmates can now enter the Opiate Recovery by Intensive Tracking (ORBIT) Program. Along with more opportunities to attend Alcoholics Anonymous or Narcotics Anonymous meetings, other addiction programs are being brought into the jails, offering men and women a chance to learn how to live without drugs or alcohol.
Both the Henrico and Chesterfield County’s Sheriffs’ Offices have taken inmate recovery to the next level. They are offering the latest approach to helping inmates with drug addiction histories through the ORBIT program. Those inmates who have a heroin or opiate addiction are given the chance to voluntarily enter this new treatment program, which can both save lives and taxpayer monies. For example, there is therapy which consists of intensive counseling and peer support. In addition, there is a work component that allows inmates to work while incarcerated. Moreover, those inmates who are successful will have the opportunity to find employment outside of the jail. The ORBIT Program helps these folks transition back into society. A recent article elaborates on the opiate epidemic in our country and how the ORBIT program works.
Treatment Through the ORBIT Program Helps Inmates Recover
Something needs to change, as there is overwhelming proof that merely locking addicts up does little or nothing towards treating their disease or rehabilitating them. So, whether a person is in jail or not, the approach of treatment should be similar. Treatment educates and empowers a person and gives them hope that they can recover from addiction. This program seeks to give everyone the chance to turn their lives around for the better and stop the cycle.