Who Is Smuggling Drugs into LA Jails?

It is not just incoming inmates, crooked prison employees, or visiting family members who might

It is not just incoming inmates, crooked prison employees, or visiting family members who might be smuggling substances into prisons across Louisiana. In a recent case, a woman was arrested for allegedly putting a paper bag full of drugs into a jail trash, demonstrating that it is not that difficult to get illicit substances into a place where an inmate might be able to retrieve it.

Police were given a tip that the woman might leave illicit substances at this drop-off point, and the package was intercepted. It was not immediately known who was expected to retrieve the drugs inside the prison, however.

What is most interesting about this story, perhaps, is the contents of the paper bag. It did not contain crack, heroin, cocaine, or other hard street drugs. Rather, it contained marijuana and Suboxone, a drug prescribed solely for the purpose of detoxing from opiate drugs like painkillers and heroin.

Could it be that the woman was essentially smuggling in drugs to ease an inmate’s detox and help them to get sober?

Addiction, Jail, and Treatment

Too often, an untreated addiction can lead someone to make criminal choices. As the drug of choice becomes the priority, it is difficult to sustain a positive home life and a job to pay bills. Many find themselves homeless and/or unemployed, and seeking to maintain their addiction by any means necessary. This can mean fraud, selling drugs, prostitution, breaking and entering – anything to keep the money coming in and the addiction sustained.

When arrested and imprisoned, access to the drug of choice stops, immediately throwing those who are living with an addiction into psychological and/or physical detox. This process can be emotionally and physically exhausting even when under the care of a physician and with medical assistance, but with little to no medical and/or psychological support in prison, it can be devastating.

While there is one state that offers drug addiction treatment and support to inmates with great results and other states that offer some level of support through 12-Step meetings, there is very little if any support for inmates who are in crisis due to addiction when they are processed into the system, and many suffer as a result.

Additionally, when they are released, the forced period of sobriety (if they cannot access drugs smuggled into the facility), usually ends in immediate relapse and, for many, a deadly overdose.

High Risk of Overdose after Release from Prison

The risk of overdose is always present when using street drugs due to the unknown content and questionable production and distribution processes. However, when using drugs after a period of sobriety – like after weeks, months, or years spent incarcerated – the risk of overdose skyrockets. The reason is simple: Tolerance for the drug of choice lowers after lack of use until the dose formerly used to sustain addiction is now far too overwhelming to the body’s systems. Many people get out of prison and do not realize that their body will process different amounts of illicit substances differently. Some will take their old “usual” dose and others will go overboard in celebration of their release and end up overdosing as a result. If they are alone when it happens, there is no one to get them the medical care they need to survive.

Treatment Is the Best Solution

If your loved one is currently in jail, at risk of being incarcerated, or struggling with an addiction in any context, the best path forward is treatment. With research-based medical detox options, a range of traditional and alternative therapies, and long-term follow-up care and support, it is possible to safely stop use of all substances and then begin the process of building a new life that is substance-free.

Though each person’s situation is different and will therefore require a unique treatment plan, it is important to find an addiction treatment program that offers:

What does your loved one need to heal?

Since joining the Townsend content team, Shlomo has become a thought leader in the addiction field. He is a Seinfeld junkie, a recovering Twitter fanatic, and a sports expert. He enjoys milk shakes and beautiful views from rooftops.