Due to the nature of drug abuse, unfortunately, many people who are struggling with addiction will end up turning to crime in order to fund their drug use. That, combined with the fact that arrests for drug possession are on the rise, means that many of our prisons are having to deal with drug-addicted individuals. 

Since that is the case, you might be wondering what prisons do with drug addicts. Sadly, prisons are not the ideal place for drug addicts to be housed. They are not remotely equipped to deal with drug addicts in the same way that drug rehab centers are, and as such it is so important that drug addicts and their families seek help and support for their addictions before they end up in prison if possible.

What do prisons do with drug addicts?

If a drug addict does end up in prison, the treatment they receive can often be minimal if it exists at all.


In fact, many drug-addicted prisoners can simply be left to deal with detox and withdrawal with little if any support at all. Some will be minimally assisted and monitored, but a large percentage will not be so lucky.

This is particularly troubling because the side effects of withdrawal can include seizures, muscle spasms, pain, and nausea. If prisoners are not helped to manage these symptoms, their withdrawal from drugs can be a very frightening, painful, and traumatizing experience which is not helped by the fact that they are also having to deal with the new experience of being imprisoned.


Although there is no solid treatment available for around 95 percent of drug-addicted prisoners, five percent will be offered some kind of treatment, including the following:

Group therapy

Group therapy can provide support to drug-addicted prisoners, helping them to stay on the right track and overcome their addictions in a supportive environment.

Skillset building

Learning skills to help them manage and recover from their addiction is often a strategy used by the small number of prisons that take assistance for drug addicts in their care seriously.

Supervised detoxification

A small number of drug-addicted prisoners are lucky enough to be helped through the detoxification process by trained medical professionals, although the number of prisoners who can access this kind of help with their addiction are few and far between.

Robert Alexander Center for Recovery,

As you can see, drug-addicted individuals are not always treated with the high standards of care you might expect. That is why drug addicts who may be committing crimes or who are at risk of doing so, should seek help before they enter the criminal justice system. 

Here at the Robert Alexander Center for Recovery, we offer help and support to addicts who are looking to overcome their drug abuse issues in a friendly and supportive environment that treats them as the individuals they are. 
If you or a loved one are currently struggling with addiction, get in touch and we will help you every step of the way on the road to your recovery.

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