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Author Topic: Norway tries a novel tactic for drug addicts—rehab instead of jail  (Read 6955 times)

Offline Chip (OP)

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source: http://qz.com/617212/norway-tries-a-novel-tactic-for-drug-addicts-rehab-instead-of-jail/

Norway tries a novel tactic for drug addicts—rehab instead of jail

Trying something different.

In the US, almost half of federal prisoners are in jail for crimes related to drugs (pdf); almost a fifth committed their crimes to obtain money for drugs. Norway is trying to take a different approach to the problem.

Norwegian courts now have the power to sentence convicted drug users to rehabilitation (link in Norwegian), instead of sending them to prison.

The narkotikaprogram was first trialled in the cities of Oslo and Bergen in 2006. It gave drug users the choice to avoid prison by signing up for treatment. A multidisciplinary team, which includes experts from education and specialist health services, was brought in to tailor the treatment to each individual drug user.

“As the evaluation shows that the pilot project regarding the drug program has been successful in Oslo and Bergen, Norwegian authorities want the program to be available in the whole country,” a spokesperson from Ministry of Justice told Quartz.
Norway has one of the highest proportion of people dying from drug overdose in the European Union, with 69.6 for every million inhabitants, second only to Estonia:

Norway hopes the nationwide roll-out of the program will “prevent criminality” and enshrine “equal treatment within the legal system.” The court will decide the conditions that would come with the rehabilitation program. Failure to meet these conditions could result in a prison sentence.

The legislation, which was introduced by the Conservative party, has widespread support from the majority of political parties in the Norwegian parliament. That said, some campaigners have slammed the program.

“Norway’s expanded drug court program is, if anything, worse. It is effectively a form of forced treatment,” John Melhus, a spokesperson for The Norwagian Association for Humane Drug Policies, told Quartz.

Melhus rejects the government’s conclusion that the pilot program has been successful. He points to 2014 report by the Norwegian Institute for Alcohol and Drug Research, which found that only just over a third of convicted drug addicts actually completed the program. The report notes that it was the most addicted that tend to drop out.

Melhus says the program is based on “intrusive supervised urine controls” and will actually “punish the most disadvantaged drug addicts more severely.”

The Ministry of Justice refused to specifically comment on these allegations, but said: “The treatment is voluntary and requires the consent of the convicted person.”
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Offline Guts

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Re: Norway tries a novel tactic for drug addicts—rehab instead of jail
« Reply #1 on: February 19, 2016, 12:17:34 AM »
I guess this is a step in the right direction but, still, it rubs me the wrong way... every fucking "expert" seems to know what's best for us poor ol' drug addicts.

I remember in science class in high school we did this thing where they showed us a towel with a blue stain and a towel with a brownish yellow stain and asked us which one we'd rather touch. Unsurprisingly, everyone said the one with the blue stain. The explanation was that we associate that brown color with disease and we're hard wired to avoid it.

That seems to be the root issue here... so many of us, through repeated brain washings, are hard wired to believe drugs = poverty, disease, homelessness, death and decay. It's an out right moral issue, not a scientific or health one. Addiction = low will power, loss of control. We're equated as sin in the eyes of the bible thumpers. Our deaths confirm it. We need an uprising...

Offline Chip (OP)

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Re: Norway tries a novel tactic for drug addicts—rehab instead of jail
« Reply #2 on: February 19, 2016, 12:30:16 AM »
I'm not sold on the 'Rehabilitation is Best' idea either but it's still better than being locked up and some people probably want to get off the damn train.
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Offline Fentfiend420

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Re: Norway tries a novel tactic for drug addicts—rehab instead of jail
« Reply #3 on: February 19, 2016, 12:40:56 AM »
I'm not sold on the 'Rehabilitation is Best' idea either but it's still better than being locked up and some people probably want to get off the damn train.

Totally agree with you on this one. I would much rather be in rehab the prison. I wish the U.S. had a deal like this. I bet it would help a lot of people. Besides prison isn't gonna help an addict at all!
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Re: Norway tries a novel tactic for drug addicts—rehab instead of jail
« Reply #4 on: February 19, 2016, 12:54:14 AM »
I used to think stuff like this was a good idea, nowadays not so much. It rubs me the wrong way too. Some addicts don't need treatment, they need DRUGS. Just drugs.

What I'm saying is that an opiate addict, for example, as long as he gets his narcotics, will usually be an upstanding and productive member of society. At least he'll be able to hold a job, have a family and all that good shit. I think under a complete legalization-type of situation, you'd have loads of money from tax revenues to support the extra governmental infrastructure needed to monitor the drugs supply, as in ensuring the safety and non-adulterated nature of the products, and also, importantly, to offer free treatment to those who actually want it.

You'd need laws in place making it a crime to sell drug products that were mislabeled as to their potency and ingredients. In perfect world, you'd be able to buy this at Walgreens for $19.99:

"'Dopium ® (C-II). Package contents, 12 tablets. Each dissolvable tablet contains: heroin (diacetylmorphine) sulfate 60mg. Warning: may be habit forming. Suitable for injection or intranasal use. Always use sterile injection technique and never re-use syringes."

Treatment that's mandatory is not as effective, and is often a failure, when the patient does not want to be treated. But these government "experts" seem to always want to toot their horn about how successful their mandated treatment programs are - at preventing recidivism (re-offending), helping former addicts to get employment, all different type of shit.
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Offline Chip (OP)

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Re: Norway tries a novel tactic for drug addicts—rehab instead of jail
« Reply #5 on: February 19, 2016, 01:19:08 AM »
Quote
Dopium ® (C-II)

that's the very maintenance drug option that is missing from the "system" ... can i order some right now please sir ?  ::)

... and the name, it's perfect !
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All activities discussed are considered fictional and hypothetical. Information of all discussion has been derived from online research and in the spirit of personal Freedom.

Offline Guts

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Re: Norway tries a novel tactic for drug addicts—rehab instead of jail
« Reply #6 on: February 19, 2016, 01:22:55 AM »
Rehab is worse than prison. Other than the little bit of comfort meds, I'd much rather sit around chopping it up playing dominoes with some criminals that are down for their shit instead of being forced into 12 step groups singing jebus songs. This is of course considering I would have to do the same amount of time in either facility and that I couldn't avoid felon status either way. I cannot stand the vibe in most rehabs... especially the 12 day clean addicts who suddenly have it all figured out.
« Last Edit: February 19, 2016, 01:26:44 AM by Guts »

Offline theSWPK

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Re: Norway tries a novel tactic for drug addicts—rehab instead of jail
« Reply #7 on: February 19, 2016, 01:52:15 AM »
It does say that those convicted would have a choice between incarceration and rehabilitation.

I totally agree that rehab just doesn't work for some people. As much as it sucks, some people can't live a sober life and remain any sort of happy.

Hopefully it's those addicts that would know enough to take the term.

I can only hope that it's nothing like the US drug court system where you can be forced to be rapidly cut off from maintenence medication and then imprisoned longer than initially for dirty UAs. How do they not realize that drug addicts are going to do drugs? In my state you can puss dirty 1 time per 6 months or face being locked up. Even for new people. You're better off just taking the time of you're a true addict.
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Offline Guts

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Re: Norway tries a novel tactic for drug addicts—rehab instead of jail
« Reply #8 on: February 19, 2016, 02:08:25 AM »
So my post wasn't meant to be taken completely literally but, really, how is forced inpatient rehab any different than prison? It is prison. Not only are you locked up, you're also expected to completely renounce your beliefs and basically accept christ into your rotten junkie heart so he can make it clean again. Not because you want to, but because you got caught.

The idea that these "experts" have in their head is that we're all addicts because we took a wrong turn in life and we all, deep down inside, really want to be "clean".

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Re: Norway tries a novel tactic for drug addicts—rehab instead of jail
« Reply #9 on: February 19, 2016, 08:40:37 AM »
If someone didn't commit a crime then other options should be open to them.  Once they have been caught for commiting a crime then the system requires they be punished.  The fact that underlying causes are being recognized is a good step forward.  If punishment MUST be given then rehab sounds better than prison to me.  It might not be ideal, but it is still better.


I'm sort of sad that this is a novel approach.  You would think that this is basic at this point.  Still, they aren't trying to see the underlying causes behind murder so I guess that it's a good start at least.




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Re: Norway tries a novel tactic for drug addicts—rehab instead of jail
« Reply #10 on: February 19, 2016, 09:35:58 AM »
So my post wasn't meant to be taken completely literally but, really, how is forced inpatient rehab any different than prison? It is prison. Not only are you locked up, you're also expected to completely renounce your beliefs and basically accept christ into your rotten junkie heart so he can make it clean again. Not because you want to, but because you got caught.

The idea that these "experts" have in their head is that we're all addicts because we took a wrong turn in life and we all, deep down inside, really want to be "clean".

I agree with everything except the part about rehabs forcing you to "accept Christ." I've been to inpatient ones three times and outpatient too many times to count, and never had the subject come up. All the ones I've been to accept the 12-step total abstinence model, which is severely lacking for many people, because it does require a belief in a "higher power," usually referred to as "God." So, this is vehemently opposed by many folks who get really really uncomfortable discussing God, or even talking about the possibility of accepting that he exists (in case you're wondering, he does and is quite real), much less accepting that he can help an addict get clean.

I think the main problem with rehabs is that they force total abstinence on all people, as a sort of one-size-fits-all approach. I think many, if not most opiate addicts, for instance, would do much much better on some sort of opioid maintenance, even if it was just subs.  For those just beginning to go down that road, probably not, but for a seasoned addict, yep.

Or medical marijuana could be used as a viable alternative to strong maintenance drugs like methadone. I think a lot of people would be quite satisfied if they could just get their hands on some nice primo bud to toke on if they could depend on it, as maintenance and wouldn't be too tempted to mess with anything else. AA has a joke about the "marijuana maintenance program" that many alcoholics are currently using as a means to stop drinking. It defo works for some, but for a lot of alcoholics, it just leads them right back to alcohol. In my case, it did if I suddenly couldn't get any bud, I'd be back at 7-11 buying beers.

That's my drug problem, alcohol. If I can't get any narcotics or marijuana, I tend to crave alcohol because it's so easy to get. And it's just so much better on my constitution to be on opiates than alcohol - that's called "harm reduction" right there.
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Re: Norway tries a novel tactic for drug addicts—rehab instead of jail
« Reply #11 on: February 19, 2016, 11:54:28 AM »
I agree with everything except the part about rehabs forcing you to "accept Christ." I've been to inpatient ones three times and outpatient too many times to count, and never had the subject come up. All the ones I've been to accept the 12-step total abstinence model, which is severely lacking for many people, because it does require a belief in a "higher power," usually referred to as "God." So, this is vehemently opposed by many folks who get really really uncomfortable discussing God, or even talking about the possibility of accepting that he exists (in case you're wondering, he does and is quite real), much less accepting that he can help an addict get clean.

I think it's a reasonable assumption to make that, in the US, 12 step programs are pushing Christianity as a higher power. I guess I could've said it in a less abrasive way but, still, I don't support any organized religion, except maybe Buddhism, and have serious doubts "he" exists.

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Re: Norway tries a novel tactic for drug addicts—rehab instead of jail
« Reply #12 on: February 26, 2016, 06:55:58 PM »
Although it's not in the Norwegian context (which I think is obviously a lot more reluctant to use imprisonment as a sanction than the US), I recommend the book Judging Addicts: Drug Courts and Coercion in the Justice System, by Rebecca Tiger, from 2013. 

I'll quote half the summary/blurb on the back for you, since I think it does relate to this article:
Quote
Rebecca Tiger explores how advocates of these [drug/treatment] courts make their case for what they call "enlightened coercion," detailing how they use medical theories of addiction to justify increased criminal justice oversight of defendants who, through this process, are defined as both "sick" and "bad."

Tiger shows how these courts fuse punitive and therapeutic approaches to drug use in the name of a "progressive" approach to addiction, all the while expanding punitive control over drug users.  Ultimately, she argues that the medicalization of addicts has done little to stem the punishment of drug users because of a key conceptual overlap in the medical and disciplinary approaches -- that habitual drug use is a problem that needs to be fixed through sobriety.


I forget where I saw the numbers, but I know that at least in some state(s) if not nationally in the US, participants in drug courts actually spent more days incarcerated than those who opted out, due to all the times they get "dunked" (I think that's what POs called it in N.C.) for a few weeks or months, for dirty tests, missed meetings, etc. on average over the course of the program, among other things (like being under closer supervision longer, etc.)
« Last Edit: February 26, 2016, 06:57:57 PM by Roman Totale »

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Re: Norway tries a novel tactic for drug addicts—rehab instead of jail
« Reply #13 on: February 26, 2016, 07:39:51 PM »
that's the very maintenance drug option that is missing from the "system" ... can i order some right now please sir ?  ::)

... and the name, it's perfect !

Sign me up when you find that
As long as we have illegal drugs people
Will be dying to get high
Instead of dying because of drugs
For some fucked up reason
We are supposed to feel pain

They can say drugs will destroy your life and they will
As long as they are illegal
Drugs=Medicine
If it was only that way
« Last Edit: February 26, 2016, 07:42:35 PM by hero 1 »
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