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Treatment Lessons Register at End of Inmate Sentences

July 1, 2006
by root
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We enjoyed your review of the Barbara Sims bookSubstance Abuse Treatment with
Correctional Clients in the January/ February 2006 issue. It caused us to reflect on the relapse prevention groups we're facilitating at the Norfolk County Jail in Massachusetts. Although in-mates are usually interested in this topic, they seem
acutely interested as they are about to walk out the door.

The closer to discharge, the greater the realization that “I'm going to have to actually
do something to chase recovery. Knowing how to stay sober isn't going to keep me sober. Wanting to stay sober isn't going to protect me from relapse. This is a program of action; will I have the defense against the next drink/drug?”

The “gift of desperation” seems to lie dormant until the inmate is just days away from discharge. Then, the likelihood of relapse becomes a frightening reality. It might be something to research more thoroughly. Keep up the good work.

Brian Duffy, SMOC Behavioral Health Services, Framingham, Mass.