In many ways, whether an inpatient facility to treat mental health or substance abuse problems is either helpful or abusive depends on one’s position.
Is Prison Ever Appropriate?
There is a difference between jail and prison. Jail is usually where one first waits to see a judge. Prison is more serious and is a place for those who have been found guilty of a felony. At that first hearing, the judge has much leeway. He may fine the person or allow them to serve an amount of days in lieu of a certain amount of fines.
If the judge sees that the person who tested for blood alcohol content was found drunk, most of the time the person will be given a ticket or let go on their own recognizance or with a small amount of bail.
The Drug User
If the person was tested positive for drug use, things get a little stickier. Drug use is not tolerated in the same way that alcohol is, although alcohol is a drug in every way, the same as heroin.
If the defendant has a record of repeated charges of drug use or sales of drugs, things will probably not go well. The chance of jail or prison time is much greater.
The Mentally Ill
In the case of mental illness, almost anything can happen. Jail or prison is not a good place for them. Not only are there talk- or drug -therapies available, the mere atmosphere of the jail or prison itself can be brutally harmful for them. Many end up dead either from murder or from suicide.
Drug and Alcohol Rehab Facilities
Those hardliners who rail against the “country club” facilities that drug users enjoy usually have no idea what they are talking about. They are merely mimicking others’ nonsense.
Ask anyone who has spent time in rehab facility, and the last words they will use to describe the process is “country club.” They are undergoing difficult work. Drug and alcohol abusers are trying very hard to divorce themselves from multiple daily doses of drugs.
Possibly the hardest part of this is not keeping away from the drugs or drink, but from the people associated with the drugs or drink. Their entire world must change for them to become successful at sobriety.
Mental Health Inpatient Facilities
If a person, even the sickest of the mentally ill, is fortunate enough to be admitted to a mental health facility more advanced than a jail or prison, they should be forever thankful. Before the 1970s, there were many beds available for the mentally ill — too many, in fact.
Now, there are hardly any. There is treatment in most places for outpatients. If a person can be kept on a regimen of medication, social-worker appointments to help with daily living skills and relationships, a psychologist for talk therapy, and a psychiatrist for more-advanced problems and prescribed medication, there is a good chance that most can work and live within society in a healthy and full way.
Education Is Key
People like to judge and sling phrases and attitudes around without any awareness of the true misery of the people they are ridiculing.
When people hear these ignorant and cruel comments, answering them with reality isn’t picking a fight for no good reason. It is standing up for our fellow citizens. We should all remember that “there but for the grace of God, go I.”