This research paper will concentrate mostly on the epidemiology, treatment, and public health implications of opioid and alcohol dependence among inmates in the US CJS.
While abuse of others drugs, such as cocaine and methamphetamine, is highly prevalent among offenders, much of the clinical and epidemiological literature on incarcerated persons has been limited to research involving dependency on alcohol and opioids.
Abuse and dependence to opioids continues to plague the USA.
There are approximately 900,000 opioid-dependent persons within the USA.
There are stark differences in METH use by race/ ethnicity.
At the federal level, the prevalence of METH abuse among white, Hispanic, and blacks is 29 %, 5 %, and 1 %, respectively (Mumola and Karberg 2006). Among state inmates, 17 % of women used METH in the month prior to arrest, as opposed to 10 % of men (Mumola and Karberg 2006).
In 2004, there were approximately 1.2 million state prisoners, of whom 23.4 % had ever used heroin or opiates in their lifetimes, and 8.2 % of convicted inmates reported using heroin or other opiates 1 month prior to arrest (Mumola and Karberg 2006).
Approximately 11 % of all male inmates, and 20 % of all female inmates reported using opioids daily in the 6 months prior to arrest.
Effective medically assisted therapy (MAT) for cocaine, crack, and methamphetamine dependence is still lacking, and to date, only behavioral interventions have been implemented to treat dependence for these substances.
Conversely, there are FDA-approved pharmacotherapies and behavioral interventions for opioidand alcohol-dependent persons within the community, and some of these have been successfully implemented in some incarcerated settings across the USA.