Recovery is For Everyone – Resources to Help Incarcerated Individuals and Returning Citizens on Their Journeys


National Recovery Month is observed every September to promote and support treatment and recovery practices for Americans suffering from substance use and mental illness. For over 30 years, this month has served as a reminder that recovery is for everyone, and that everyone can live healthy and rewarding lives. 

Now more than ever, people are struggling. The COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated substance abuse; the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported over 81,000 drug overdose deaths in the 12-month period ended in May 2020, the highest amount ever.  

Approximately 10% of the U.S. adult population—20.3 million adults—has a substance use disorder; however, incarcerated individuals are affected at a much higher rate. TheBureau of Justice Statisticsstates that 58% of state prisoners and 63% of jail inmates meet the criteria for drug dependence or abuse. 

You and your incarcerated loved one might be facing a lack of resources available within correctional facilities, but GTL is working to change that. GTL tablets offer a way to bring new and proven resources into correctional facilities to increase the ability of individuals to access resources: 

  • Breaking Free from Substance Abuse – This partnershipassists incarcerated individuals in achieving and maintaining recovery from dependence on over 70 different substances, including opioids, stimulants, prescribed medications, and alcohol. The program has already hit over 15,000 users at 22 facilitiesof the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction and is being rolled out at other GTL customer facilities across the country. 
  • Hayes Art Therapy – Studies have shown art therapy to be an effective mental health treatment for individuals who have experienced trauma, medical illness, depression, and social difficulties. For that reason, GTL partnered with Pamela Hayes to offer the app on tablets, helping incarcerated individuals achieve personal insight and healing. 
  • Dr. Christian Conte – Through an exclusive partnership with Dr. Conte, a mental health specialist in the field of anger and emotional management, GTL will add custom content to tablets, focusing on the mental and emotional health of incarcerated individuals, which is important in turning from a life of incarceration to one of successful reintegration into the community.  
  • Peace Education Program from The Prem Rawat Foundation– A program with 10 thought-provoking themes helps participants discover a renewed sense of purpose, including how to use their own inner resources and lead more fulfilling lives. 
  • Free Communication Program– A program that allows incarcerated individuals to make connections with their loved ones on a weekly basis at no cost. Having a strong support network is an advantage in achieving and maintaining recovery. 

For you and your formerly incarcerated loved ones, there are many national organizations and initiatives focused on recovery treatment paths and living a substance-free life:  

  • Addiction Resource – Provides relevant information related to addiction and addiction treatment, helping individuals and their families who struggle with addiction, substance use disorders, and mental health disorders by providing up-to-date, accurate, and evidence-based information, connecting individuals with treatment providers, and facilitating initial assessments. 
  • Rehab Spot – Provides information on overcoming addiction and finding a treatment based on a person’s location, budget, and needs, specifically focusing on properly managing traumatic experiences, such as incarceration, as those affected often try to escape their pain through drug or alcohol use. 
  • Sunshine Behavioral Health– Offers information on how people in recovery can still receive treatment and support during quarantine and shelter-in-place orders 
  • Volunteers of America– Provides hundreds of human service programs including housing and healthcare for America’s most vulnerable groups, including returning citizens and those recovering from addictions. 

This year’s National Recovery Month theme is “Recovery is for Everyone: Every Person, Every Family, Every Community,” and resources and events can be found at https://rm.facesandvoicesofrecovery.org/ 

If you or someone you love are looking to start on the road to recovery, SAMSHA’streatment locator can assist in matching your needs with the right treatment option. Recovery is a journey, but every journey begins with a single step.  

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