Families across the Louisville area are struggling to deal with the effects of addiction, especially amid the current heroin crisis. On the second floor of the city’s jail is a substance abuse dorm holding more than two dozen women, reports the Louisville Courier-Journal. Along the walls, colored papers decorated with handprints list the inmates’ recovery dates, while a larger sheet lists their drugs of choice. Beneath the pages, inmates going through detox sleep on plastic beds, waking only to rush to an open toilet. The National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse says that between 1996 and 2006, about 85 percent of the nation’s inmates were affected by substance abuse, though only 11 percent received treatment while incarcerated.
In 2008, Louisville’s corrections agency added to that small percent by starting a program called Enough is Enough, which is voluntary for people recovering from drug addictions. Today the program consists of four dorms with 30 beds each, including 14 for inmates detoxing and 16 for inmates in recovery treatment, said coordinator Ken Wright. The beds are always full and there’s always a waiting list. “They’re not bad people trying to get good,” Wright said. “They’re sick people with an illness trying to get better.” Inmates take classes on topics from parenting to relapse prevention. They participate in affirmation sessions meant to build confidence and they watch over their peers who are detoxing, knowing what it was like to be in their place.