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Proposal: Drug Rehabilitation Over Prison For Drug Addicts

Allow people to receive the treatment they need and rehabilitate back into society instead of being stuck in a prison forever.

The Issue

Problem Defined

The main focus of this proposal is to identify and help to decrease the drug issue in Cumberland, MD. One way to help the issue is by placing more people in rehabilitation centers. By placing drug addicts in prison it is decreasing the likelihood of them being able to get better and reenter society as a normal member, not someone to be feared or hated. Rehabilitation is the best way to help them get their lives back on track instead of sitting in a cell wasting their life away. This way they are able to live life to their full potential.

Expand all bullets
Prisons OverflowingMORE

Putting drug addicts in prison when they have not been violent towards anyone is only creating an overcrowding issue in prisons for unnecessary reasons.

Rehabilitation LocationsMORE

Many people do not know where rehabilitation centers are located. This prevents people from being able to get help if they wanted to do so. In Cumberland Alternative Drug and Alcohol Counseling (ADAC) is located at 994 National Highway, Cumberland, MD, 21502. https://sobernation.com/listing/alternative-drug-and-alcohol-counseling-adac-cumberland-md/

Accessibility to drugs MORE

Doctors should do more background checks into a persons history with substances before prescribing more medicine that could be potentially addictive. 

Treatment Within PrisonMORE

"About two-thirds of the nation’s 2.3 million inmates are addicted to drugs or alcohol, yet only 11 percent of addicted inmates receive any treatment." Many inmates go untreated and therefore go back to using as soon as they are released.


Types of TreatmentMORE

People are unaware of what type of treatment options they have or what could work best for them. Inpatient and residential treatment are two of the most effective forms of treatment. Inpatient treatment has shown that 73% of addicts complete treatment and 21% remain sober after five years. Although residential treatment has only 51% of addicts complete treatment, they also have 21% remain sober after five years. 


Go deeper
Opiate Addiction Statistics

Michael's House Treatment Centers - (Invalid date)

Millions of people are effected by drugs every day. Over four million people have misused painkillers in just one month. In addition to this, over four million people have addmitted to using heroin in their lifetime. 




People sometimes get medications that aren't prescribed to them by taking them from someone they know. Many people do not know what to do with a medication after they are no longer in need of it so they leave it in their home. Disposing of medications properly could prevent it from getting taken by the wrong person.

Heroin Incidence Rates among Persons Aged 12 to 49, by Gender: 2002-2011

Center for Behavioral Health Statistics and Quality, SAMHSA. - (Invalid date)

The number of heroin incidences occurring is gradually increasing over the past few years. Every day more people, both men and women, are becoming addicted to this substance and putting their lives in danger.


We are hoping to give drug addicts a second chance at having a normal life. Keeping people in prisons prevents them from being able to join society again and makes people believe they are dangerous when most of them are not.

Diane McMahon
Associate Professor of Sociology - Allegany College of Maryland
I am a sociology professor at Allegany College of Maryland, which is located in Cumberland, MD. I also work as the Faculty Director of the Service Learning and Civic Engagement (SLCE) Center at the college. I have worked in a variety of professions in my past that focuses on helping the homeless. Most recently I was the director of a peace and justice organization in Pittsburgh.

I am a great supporter of the work of TheChisel.com because it helps raise up topics that students and community members can work on together, in a bi-partisan manner, to address.
Keri Twigg
I am a student attending Allegany College of Maryland in the general studies program. I grew up in Cumberland, MD and I am currently eighteen years old. I graduated from Allegany High School this past year and I am planning on attending Frostburg State University in 2021 to major in either business or accounting. In high school I was Historian of our schools Student Council for two years and I was a class officer for two years as well. I have also participated in a bowling team for two years and helped with unified track and unified tennis for four years.
abbigail datri
I was born and raised in Cumberland, Maryland and I was a 2019 graduate from Fort Hill High School. I was a member of the Fort Hill Band in Color Guard. In the 2018 to 2019 year, I was the captain for the Color Guard group for my high school. I am now currently a first year student attending Allegany College of Maryland which is located in Cumberland, Maryland. I am currently working a part time job at a small food restaurant. My career field I am working towards is Nursing and I am in the process of completing classes to start pre- nursing.
jaden shockey
I am a student at Allegany College of Maryland. I am 18 year old. I am taking General Education, but i'm thinking of taking Special Education. I will be transferring to either Shippensburg University, Cal U or Morgantown Uni. I work at Tj Maxx at the Country Club Mall. I went to Allegany High School, during those 4 years, I joined the unified sports to help with the special ed. I was also apart of yearbook for 3 years, and 1 year of student council. I currently volunteer at Friends aware.

The Solution

Proposed Actions
Expand all bullets
Allowing Nonviolent Addicts The Option of Rehabilitation or PrisonMORE

When police officers come upon someone under the influence of drugs they should be taken into custody. These people should be able to choose whether they want to sit in prison or try to complete rehab and fix their mistakes. If they complete rehabilitation then they should be considered for release, but if they are not willing or able to complete the program then they could be referred to the prison system.

Provide Information in Public SpacesMORE

Place pamphlets or flyers around town with helpful information on what users can do and where they can go for help. Some people do not have access to the internet and could use help from papers placed around town wit directions on what to do.


People that choose to go to rehab but do not have he money for it should be allowed to work as part of their treatment to make the money that is needed to pay for their treatment if they are able.


Providing a safe place for people to go and get away from the drugs without having to commit to a program or anything could encourage them to find help when they are ready.

Writing a LetterMORE

Writing a letter to someone who is considered an authority figure who could speak out on the issue and assure these people that they can receive help and safety could encourage them to get better.

Expected Results
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Less Addicts in PrisonsMORE

A decrease in the number of addicts in prisons would encourage others to seek help without having to fear that they will just be placed in prison without any treatment. Many people refrain from seeking help due to the fact that most addicts are misunderstood and sent to prison or jail without a second thought.

More Places to Receive Affordable HelpMORE

Addicts sometimes wish to get help but do not have the funds to do so. Creating an organization that helps to raise money and creates jobs for addicts to make their own money could help them fit into society as well as paying for their own treatment.

Less Addicts and HomelessMORE

Some people continue to do drugs because the household they are in only allows them there if they fit in with the other users. Allowing a safe place for these people to stay could prevent them from wanting to go back to their life of drugs.


In order to create flyers, posters, or a newspaper article $1,000 would be enough to help support our cause. 

The Conversation

5 months ago
In Cumberland, I have seen many different things. When coaching a little girls softball team other coaches and I have to go around looking for needles that are laying around the field, one day we counted twenty-five needles. Other people would always call in overdoses at that field to where we would have to move practices or cancel them because no one would want the little girls or themselves to see that. Needles are found everywhere around town and they do have places that you can throw them away at safely.
The day my Uncle passed away, there was an over dose at his neighbors. My Uncle did not do drugs, he was having a heart attack. Because of the overdose next door, the media assumed it was an overdose and started commenting rude and nasty things like "another one bites the dust". Many other people were commenting things like that as well like " when will this end" and "no one ever changes".

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