Indiana has opened a new prison unit dedicated to helping meth addicts kick their habit — one of the first of its kind nationally, says the Indianapolis Star. Twenty-six prisoners checked into the unit at the Miami Correctional Facility in north central Indiana, which is piggybacking on similar programs already under way at various county jails. “Our offenders will be released someday to society. Preparing them to not return to meth is the issue,” said John VanNatta, superintendent of the facility. Indiana ranked fourth in the nation with 1,549 meth labs destroyed in 2004.
The Partnership for a Drug Free America says that meth abusers suffer emotional and physical side effects from a pattern of abuse that includes “bingeing” on the drug. Abusers can go days without sleep and food as they feed their habit. Chronic use leads to paranoia, hallucinations, and criminal activity. The new program — officially named Clean Lifestyle is Freedom Forever, or CLIFF — will run 15 hours a day, seven days a week. It will be overseen by a mix of staff and outside drug experts. Indiana’s program specifically for meth addicts may be the first of its kind, said Harry Wexler of the National Development and Research Institutes Inc. in New York City.