MN Report: Drug Treatment Shortage Leads To Recidivism


There were nearly 42,000 admissions to publicly funded substance abuse treatment programs last year, a 29 percent increase from 2004, says a Minnesota legislative auditor’s report quoted by the St. Paul Pioneer Press. Alcohol remains the predominant substance abused by people admitted to treatment. Methamphetamine admissions rose from 2.4 percent to 13.5 percent in the past 10 years.

The number of people in state prison for drug offenses rose by 689 percent from 1990 to 2004. Drug offenders now account for one of every four inmates in state prisons. Researchers found a troubling disconnect between what happens inside and outside of prison. A shortage of prison treatment beds, budget cuts, and an apparent lack of available treatment facilities in the community contribute to service gaps that researchers believe strongly affect re-offense and relapse rates. Of 507 adult offenders released from a Minnesota state prison in the first three months of 2002, about 75 percent either were arrested or convicted of a new offense within three years of their release from prison. Of those, 36 percent were popped for an offense related to substance abuse.


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