“An Ohio prison yard was reportedly the site of a “free-for-all” earlier this month, when dozens of inmates fought over a package of drugs that had been flown over the prison walls and dropped there by a drug mule drone.
Many news reports about it had a kind of dark humor to them, but the reality behind that debacle is nothing to laugh at. In addition to tobacco and marijuana, the package included enough heroin for about 100 doses, the Columbus Dispatch reported at the time. The paper followed up with a report that the percentage of Ohio state prisoners who tested positive for illegal drug use had increased by 41 percent over the past two years. In 2014, there were about 1,900 inmates in the state prison system who failed random drug tests.
Research has consistently shown how important it is for inmates who come into prison with drug addictions to get treatment behind bars: Drug use in prison that involves needles can spread disease, and cold-turkey withdrawals can lead to overdoses when people get out. But new research also shows that, even when drug treatment is available to prison inmates, not everyone actually takes advantage of it. In fact, the disparity between who does and does not seek treatment often falls among racial lines.
For her recent article in the journal Addictive Behaviors, University of Colorado–Boulder sociologist Kathryn Nowotny looked at survey information gathered in 2004 from state prisons across the country—over 5,000 inmates in 286 prisons. She found that fewer than a half of the inmates who had drug dependency problems had received any kind of treatment at all in their time behind bars. Of those who had, the most commonly referenced treatment was “self-help groups” (as opposed to, say, opioid replacement therapy). And she also found that, when treatment was available, Hispanic inmates who had drug dependency were much less likely than either white or black inmates to utilize it. But why?”
Source: PSMagazine.com – August 20, 2015