(audience applauding) We’ve been discussing prison-based addiction programs. Too often in this country, we look at addicts and we pretend they don’t exist, because it’s uncomfortable. And treatment is lacking in so many communities, it’s too expensive in so many communities, and I don’t know if this conversation convinced anyone to lean one way or the other, but at least, at least I give credit to Massachusetts for addressing the issue. Well, I think all the states though, need to address it. I couldn’t agree more. And I, as an individual, as a sister, as a mother, as an aunt, I want to have the ability to save those kids’ lives, my adult friends’ lives. I wanna have a recourse to go and say, here’s the statute, I’m sorry I’ve gotta do this to you, but I need to help you. And most states don’t have that in place. There’s nothing that gives me the authority in Michigan to help someone that I see who is struggling. Listen, the reality of addition is, if we got it under control, we would then control our criminal justice issues, because when I sat as a judge, 85 to 90% of the people in front of me were in front of me because of drug or alcohol abuse. Either they were looking for money, so they were stealing, they were harming people, ’cause they were high. Most of the people, am I correct sheriff, in your jail, are probably there because they have addiction issues? Your honor, 90% of the people incarcerated in my facility come to us with some level of addiction issues. You are 100% correct. And just so you know, an incarcerated bed in Hampden County is about 58 to $62,000 a year. A treatment bed that we’re providing is about 23 to $25,000 a year. Being responsible to the tax payers is putting people in treatment environments, not jail cells. But that doesn’t mean you can’t use the sheriff’s office to administer the effective treatment. Addiction is a brain disease. When the disease is active, it causes people to do horrible things. Not because they’re horrible people, because the disease takes them there. Their motivational systems are broken, their insight systems are broken, they have anosognosia, they don’t see what’s happening to them, people then turn and say, well why did they use in the first place? They used in the first place ’cause usually they had some severe trauma, and they were unregulated, the substance worked, and then they triggered the addiction, and now it’s on. Before we go, I want to ask this question, because I think this is so important. I’d like to believe that all treatment facilities are created equal.
No. However, I’ve had family members go through it, too. A lot of treatment facilities, it seems like their number one goal is to get your money. And that’s a sad reality in this country– That’s mostly in this state. That’s mostly California. Well, it’s in a lot of states. It is with mostly California, I’ve got news for ya, it’s the best. If someone out there has a family member, and they’re tryin’ to get them help, and they want to get them into a treatment facility, how is one to determine whether or not this is a facility that legitimately wants to help their loved one, versus wants to take their money? I would ask the hard questions. People sometimes look at a shiny marketing website, and they think, that’s where I want to go, but no! You need to ask them specific questions about what types of treatments there are, who’s on staff, is there an addiction psychiatrist, addiction specialist, addiction physician? What types of therapies will this person be getting? Are they getting evidence-supported treatments? And if they can’t answer those questions, or they try to divert from it, then you should move on. And you should interview at least three to four programs before you decide, ’cause this is a huge, huge breaking point in a person’s life.
And Doctor Drew, I mean, a Club Med setting is not necessarily– Not good.
Not good. Gratifying addicts is not good. Now, I understand that’s how you get them in sometimes, but it’s not good for their treatment, gratifying them. So, Judy’s absolutely right. If they don’t have the credentials of the primary clinical people in there, don’t even bother going further. Board certified medical director and clinical director, nursing, psychologists, addiction medicine specialist– Aftercare.
Aftercare– Big deal. What do you do when you’re done? Extensive recovery network for that them, and 12-step basis, it’s free, and it connects all the dots. When the clinicians aren’t available, the 12-step community is there to watch ’em, sit on ’em, pick ’em up, and it’s free, and it’s on every corner. It’s been under attack lately, it is ridiculous. It’s free. Am I sayin’ it? 12-step, mutual aid societies are free. We need to lean on them heavily, absolutely. So many people come to me and say, but judge, I don’t have the money. I say, when was the last time you went to a free meeting? They’re out there, we could go to one every hour. If nothing else, hopefully people will remember that there are resources. We’ll have a list of those on our website. Sheriff, I would say thank you for doing things the right way. I want to thank all of you. Thank you, Bonnie, for tryin’ to look out for people. Robin, we’re so sorry for your loss, but thank you for sharing your story. (audience applauding) Doctor Drew, I am so thankful you were here today. I wish– I’m glad Mary’s here today, she’s helped keep me straight.