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Improving the availability of inclusive mental health
services for all residents in Clay, Platte and Ray counties.

There Really Is A Better Way

Just locking up drug and alcohol abusers and throwing away the key is sometimes a popular reaction to drug- and alcohol-related crime. It may also be the wrong one.

Countless studies show that a majority of individuals in prison have an alcohol and/or a drug abuse problem. Research by the Missouri Department of Mental Health Division of Alcohol and Drug Abuse (ADA) found that approximately 25 percent of Missouri’s corrections population is serving time for a drug (21%) or DWI offense (4%) In addition, substance abuse is closely linked to non-violent offenses such as burglary, theft, and forgery and, to a lesser extent, violent crime such as assault.

The problem is, incarceration without treatment is the most costly solution for taxpayers and it rarely addresses the core problem: the mental illness of addiction. Those who enter this cycle invariable return to drug and/or alcohol abuse once they're released.

Treatment gets results. The ADA also found that within one year of release, approximately 26 percent of offenders with a substance abuse problem returned to prison. In comparison, 18 percent of offenders who did not have substance abuse problems returned to prison.

Read more in this PDF version of the report.

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The Clay, Platte, Ray Mental Health Board of Trustees
3100 NE 83rd Street, #2700, Kansas City, MO 64119 • (816) 468-1772 •
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