Placing and emphasis on treatment in lieu of jail time, the New Jersey Criminal System has changed how they now treat drug users. The new bill was signed into law on Thursday, July 19, 2012 and will take five years to be phased into the overall drug court program. In short, this law will expand eligibility to non-violent, drug-dependent offenders.
Although the ‘war on drugs’ was well-intentioned, it’s been pretty clear that the ‘war’ is not being won, except from the side of the drug dealers and users. Treatment is finally being seen as an actual deterrent to drug abuse and long prison sentences for drug-abuse offenders rarely succeeds in ending addiction. Typically they can stop in prison but once being released to the community some commit more crimes under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol. This sort of law will help break the awful cycle of addiction.
Around my third year of sobriety, somewhere about 1995, I began working for Georgette Watson and the Governor’s Alliance Against Drugs as an Executive Assistant. The GAAD was a federally funded program that was state run, which meant the GAAD was under the Executive Office of Public Safety. The mission of the GAAD was to raise awareness to the need for after school programs for boys and girls in the state of Massachusetts. Our budget, if I remember correctly was 2 million dollars and we took in written grants from groups across the state and awarded funds to groups we thought embodied the essence of our mission.
In the time I was there though, we struggled with the agency we were directly involved with because their main goal, it seems at that time was to use the funds for non-treatment or prevention programs. They wanted to use it to put more police and truant officers on the streets. Although the final decisions were never handed down during my tenure, it does seem like the GAAD was eventually dismantled and the funds were absorbed into the Office of Public Safety.
So, the point I am trying to make is that it’s great to see that people are finally getting the idea the prevention programs and treatment programs work. Georgette Watson, God rest her soul, was right and the Office of Public Saftey was short sighted in their endeavors.
Recovery Rob BIO
Recovery Rob is a 47-year-old man who has more than nineteen years of sobriety, whose drugs of choice at one time were alcohol and drugs, and he has worked in and around the field of addiction for more than 20 years. Having just recently launched his own website, www.askrecoveryrob.com, he hopes to reach out and continue to help others who work through their process of addiction and recovery. Recovery Rob is a professional writer who has published two novels and is currently working on his third. He has been writing and working as Pat Moore Foundation’s premiere blogger and content writer, which helps keeps Pat Moore Foundation’s addiction and recovery blog top-rated.