America has been taken hostage by the Colombian and
Mexican drug cartels, by the addict who robs us at the A.T.M. machine and by our own children who steal our TV to buy dope.
We are losing the drug wars with all of them. Even so, there is only one more final battle we need to fight in the drug
wars. That one we will win. This book by Angel Grace and Dr. Gary Brennan is the battle plan. Millions of
dollars leave the U.S. daily to pay for drugs that poison our citizens' minds and bodies. Our jails are overflowing
with drug violent criminals. Illegal drugs are shredding the fabric of our existence in America, crumbling the family
and ripping apart the legal system. Illegal drugs are creating second and third generations of mind crippled people
who have lost so much of their mental capabilities they have been left unwilling and unable to compete in the job market.
The solution to all of these problems is presented in "Escape from Hell: Clean and Sober Forever."
There has been a gradual increase in policies that focus on reducing demand in the past ten years.
Proposition 36 passed in California in November 2000, allowing treatment instead of jail for first time drug offenders, has
reduced the California prison population slightly since passage. But almost on a daily basis, with budget crises everywhere,
funds are being cut for drug treatment programs. The Caifornia Prison system recently eliminated a couple hundred million
formerly spent on drug treatment. Only fifteen-percent of those in the Amity treatment program at Donovan Correctional
Institute went back to jail. Now it will be seventy percent or more since Amity was closed down. The violence
rate of those formerly enrolled in Amity and who are now in the general prison population has increased. The primary
focus of Angel Grace's and Dr. Gary Brennan's book is prevention and rehabilitation so Proposition 36 was a very large
step in that direction. In the first year 30,469 drug offenders were placed in treatment programs. According to
a UCLA study, 82% of those eligible to participate in the program did so. Participants were just as likely to stay in
treatment as others voluntarily enrolling in treatment. Daniel Abrahamson, the law’s co-author and the Drug Policy
Alliance’s legal affairs director said, “Tens of thousands of people who were previously denied treatment are
getting it; hundreds of millions of dollars are being saved. And as a result, individuals given treatment instead of
jail, their families and their communities continue to get healthier. In spite of the thousands who avoided jail because
of Proposition 36, since 2002, the total prison population of the United States doubled, from 1.1 million in 1990 to 2.1 million
in 2003, 750 thousand are there for non-violent drug offenses. Most of the people in jail who were not charged with
drug offenses are there directly or indirectly because of drugs or alcohol. Eighty-five percent of all people arrested
for any crime are under the influence at the time of their arrest. Hundreds of new studies continue to prove that every
dollar spent on drug rehabilitation saves ten in prison/crime costs. Yet, the growth of prisons and the prison population,
still with little in-prison drug treatment, has far outpaced drug treatment efforts, in or out of the prisons. In fact,
in-prison drug treatments have recently basically been gutted. The dots are still not connected. Tracking and
follow-up as described in Angel Grace's and Dr. Gary Brennan's book “Escape From Hell: Clean and Sober Forever,”
is still rare. Six million people can be maintained in sober living homes at around $4,000 a year each, for what it
costs to keep a million people in jail. The sobriety of the million or so in jail for minor drug crimes/use possession
could be guaranteed for a fraction of the cost of prison. The details are in the book.
In the S.I.P. (Serial Inebriate Program) in San Diego, sobering up 250 homeless, chronic inebriates saved
six million dollars in services provided to these individuals. How did they do this? They did what the law said
they should have been doing all along – graduated interventions. The serial inebriates had up to 200 arrests and
releases each. After being picked up out of their own vomit in front of a complaining retail store, they would spend
hours in an emergency room, detox center or jail. Then they would be released and become drunk again before the day
was over. These services (E.R., jail, detox) are very expensive. The law says that the second arrest should result
in 30 days in jail or treatment; subsequent arrests should result in increasing time in jail or treatment. Once the
S.I.P. (Serial Inebriate Program) was implemented, most of those arrested chose treatment at a live-in rehabilitation “ranch”
over jail. Thirty, sixty and ninety day periods resulted mostly in a return to drinking after release. Six months
or 180 days was long enough for most of the drunks to recover and learn enough to decide to stay sober.
The following five recommendations are spelled out at some length in Dr. Gary Brennan's and Angel
Grace's book, “Escape from Hell: Clean and Sober Forever.” The book recommends a focus on reducing
demand, not supply, because, if no one is buying drugs, no one will be selling drugs. The recommendations are designed
to halt “falling through the cracks,” a near universal phenomena in America’s approach to substance abuse
treatment. One example: 75% of Holland’s heroin addicts are in treatment, 5% of New York’s heroin addicts
are in treatment. Massive implementation of the following five policies/interventions would result, after a few years,
in cutting in half or more of the prison population, crime and the need for foster-home placements. Nine million
children live with a parent who is dependent on alcohol and/or illicit drugs. Seventy percent of foster children are
in foster care because of substance abusing parents who abused or neglected their children. Rates of drug caused mental
illness, homelessness and a host of other problems would drop drastically in a sober America. There are more deaths
and disabilities each year in the U.S. from substance abuse than any other cause. See Angel Grace's and Dr. Gary
Brennan's book “Escape from Hell: Clean and Sober Forever”: for a more complete list of problems which are
caused by substance abuse. If no one is buying drugs, the major producers and suppliers across the globe would be out
of business. This would mean terrorists in several nations would run out of funds since much of their activities are
financed with drug revenues. Much of Al Queda is financed with drug earnings. North Korea manufactures and exports
arms and drugs, both through well developed distribution networks. Most illegal drugs manufactured in the world end
up sold and used in the U.S., where more people can afford them. The recommendations:
1) Teens who smoke pot are 85 times more likely to go on to hard drugs than those who don’t.
People under the influence of drugs or alcohol commit some 85 to 90% of all crimes. Early intervention is necessary.
Any parent who finds paraphernalia, who suspects their children are smoking pot or using drugs, should be able to make one
phone call. Someone would come to their home and test their child for drugs. If the child tests positive, enrollment
in anti-drug support groups and twice weekly testing would begin. Failure in that program would result in involuntarily
enrollment in detox programs. Eventually, the youth would learn that he can be sober outside, with relative freedom,
or sober inside somewhere, but his option to use drugs is gone. At present, mothers’ frantic calls for help are
ignored and their children are free to use drugs until arrested for some crime. No new laws are needed. Health
and Safety Code 11550 allows for the examination of an individual suspected of being under the influence. This statute
is under-used, and if we want to stop the next generation from being stoners and jailbirds the schools/teachers and parents
should be able to ask for help in guaranteeing that their children are sober. The myth that pot is harmless continues
to destroy lives. In Dr. Brennan’s practice, youths who did nothing but smoke pot were showing up with psychotic
symptoms, hallucinating and delusional. A growing literature on the subject reveals that the new breed of marijuana
plants with higher levels of THC are leading more and more teen pot smokers into psychosis and the mental health system.
Dr. Brennan and Angel Grace are not recommending blanket testing of all teens, only those whose teachers or mothers ask for
help, or those exhibiting symptoms typical of drug users (mood swings, grades dropping which are probable causes justifying
testing). Until the state implements such a program, suspicious parents should purchase low-cost drug testing kits from
pharmacies and use them. Children testing "dirty" should be enrolled in drug counseling programs (if you can find a
slot) and frequently tested to guarantee continued sobriety.
2) Anyone committing a crime should be tested for drugs/alcohol. Massive research
data shows that the large majority of criminals who sober up quit crime. Rather than focus on courts, lawyers, judges,
hearings, for most of the people committing crimes (with exceptions of murder or particularly heinous crimes) the individual
should be put in “diversion.” As in number 1, he would immediately begin attending anti-drug support/treatment
groups (perhaps run on the Amity Therapeutic Community Model) and test twice weekly. Failure to follow through would
immediately result in in-patient detox programs. As it is now, after their arrest and bail, people are free to continue
using drugs until they go to prison, where they often continue to obtain and use drugs.
3) Everyone in prison needs to be enrolled in a Therapeutic Community/Amity type program.
This adds $4,000 a year to the $25,000 to $50,000 or more a year it costs to keep someone in jail. But, Amity graduates
have a low recidivism rate, 75% of the prisoners who receive no drug treatment in prison will go back to prison. Most
prisons, which claim that they have drug treatment, do not (an AA meeting a week does not qualify as drug treatment).
With in-prison treatment and the kind of follow-up on release described in Dr. Brennan's and Angel Grace's book,
the recidivism rate would drop to fifteen percent or less.
4) Upon being placed on probation, or, upon release from prison, the large majority of
substance abusers are free to abuse all the substances they want. When dropped off at the trolley station with their $200
most don't get on the trolley, most walk to the liquor store nearby. They stay drunk until they do more crimes and go
back to jail. Every man on probation and parole, the day he begins probation, or the day he leaves prison, should be
expected to show up at a meeting that night and test twice weekly. If they do not, there should be an immediate trip
to detox. After release from detox in a few days, they should then be expected to immediately go to meetings and test
twice weekly. Failure to do so would result in more (longer each time) trips to detox. No, not another ten
years in jail, but maybe up to a couple of months in detox. Non-compliance would result in special teams that would immediately
track down and return to detox/treatment, the non-compliant individuals. As it is now, the track record of probation
departments and parole boards across the land, in terms of keeping people sober, is miserable. Even the prisons aren’t
very successful in keeping people sober inside the prisons.
5) If someone has never been arrested, but wants drug treatment, upon enrollment in a program,
they should be arrested, put into diversion, so when they decide to quit the program in a week or two (as most do) they can
be hunted down and returned. That way, instead of going through 30 programs at a cost of $30,000 each (we have spent
well over a million dollars each, trying to sober up many substance abusers) they will be enrolled in just one program, which
they will finish, even if they change their minds part way through. We don’t have to wait till people “hit
bottom” or decide to get clean and sober. Multiple studies show that for those not yet “ready” to
get clean and sober, the close monitoring described here and in the Dr. Brennan's and Angel Grace's book is as successful
in sobering up those enrolled in involuntary treatment as those who sought treatment on their own.
JAILS CAN'T SOLVE OUR SOCIAL PROBLEMS
American society, the Department of Justice and our
leaders across the nation are focused on solving America's crippling social problems with law enforcement. They arrest, try,
convict, and lock up substance abusing criminals in prison. When this has not worked, the cry has been for even more jails
and longer prison sentences. This also has not and will not work. WHEN HALF OF AMERICA IS LOCKED UP AND THE OTHER HALF ARE
THE KEEPERS (IF WE CAN FIND SOMEONE TO PAY THE BILLS) IT STILL WILL NOT WORK. Jails are places where we send people who got
in trouble. There, many are raped, tortured, treated brutally, and turned into vicious, hardened predators. Many prisoners
can get all the drugs they want. Drugs are far easier to get in prison than drug treatment. Many first experiment with and
become addicted to drugs in prison. Then they are released back to society. The Department of Justice is the biggest contributor
to the chaos and crime spree going on in America. The prison system as we know it today must be abolished. America locks up
many times more of its citizens than any industrial nation in the world. On the rare occasions drug treatment has been tried,
it stopped the revolving door to the jails.
Within two years of full implementation of the "Escape from Hell: Clean and Sober Forever" Program
detailed in Angel Grace's and Dr. Brennan's book the authors claims that there will be at least a 50% reduction
in foster home placements, homelessness, spousal abuse, drive-by shootings, homicides, crack babies, new incarcerations, etc.
And all of this will be accomplished at a cost of a 10th to a 50th of what we now spend trying to impact on these same
problems with courts and jails.
So far, all of the battles in the Drug Wars focused on stopping the supply of drugs have been
lost. Panama ships more drugs than ever to the U.S. since Noriega. Americans must become aware that cops, courts and jails
are not the solution to America's social ills. Then, they can tell their leaders that our current approaches, including "Three
Stikes and You're out," more cops and more dope catchers at the border, are not going to work. What will work is PREVENTION.
Now and then we are beginning to hear talk of PREVENTION in the
media. So far, it is MOSTLY talk. But prevention of crime, homelessness, and most of America's social ills IS THE FOCUS
OF THIS BOOK. Dr. Brennan's and Angel Grace's 60 pages of "References, Reviews and Notes," covering 155 sources, presents
overwhelming evidence that almost all of America's very serious social ailments are driven by substance abuse. Drug dealers
around the world are poised to cash in on America's impending heroin epidemic. Substance abuse is responsible for 77% of the
foster home placements and is pushing more people than ever into the homeless population. Sixty six percent of the single
adults in the New York City Homeless shelters tested positive for cocaine. Substance abuse fuels most crime. From Fifty to
Eighty Five Percent of all people arrested across the nation, for anything are under the influence at the time of their
arrest. One in ten babies nationwide is born addicted. It can cost up to a million dollars to raise a crack baby to the age
of 18 because of their special needs, often due to brain damage while in the womb. Then they, too often, enter the world of
addiction and crime. Our medical resources are being exhausted with drug emergencies. Emergency Rooms across America have
had to close because they couldn't afford the volume of patients (who rarely pay) coming in because of their addictions (this
includes stabbings, overdoses, battered women and sometimes men, etc.). The emotional and financial resources of our
nation are being drained in every area by substance abuse.
ESCAPE FROM HELL: CLEAN AND SOBER FOREVER" - RESCUING THE ADDICTED
Prevention, to the authors, means stopping demand, instead of trying to cut off the supply of
dangerous substances. The writers, Dr. Gary Brennan and Angel Grace engaged in lengthy battles against evil in "Angel on Probation"
and they maintain that the FINAL BATTLE in the DRUG WARS will not be in the Colombian cocoa plantations nor
in the Asian poppy fields. The FINAL BATTLE in the DRUG WARS will be to pull out of addiction our sick brothers
and sisters, friends and neighbors. The final battle in the drug wars will be to win back their hearts and souls. The "Escape
from Hell: Cean and Sober Forever" Program in Angel Grace's and Dr. Brennan's book is the plan to rescue
America's addicted from their living hell.
And when we have done that, the DRUG WARS will be over and we will have won. If nobody is buying
drugs, nobody will be selling drugs. This book describes the failsafe plan to do this in great detail. Prevention is cheaper
than jails. Sobered up addicts stop stealing the huge amounts of goods and money which they formerly used to buy drugs.
Some readers have said that the plan in this book is too much like "BIG BROTHER." But
almost everyone who is on probation is ordered to not abuse substances or hang around with people who do. Those conditions
of probation signed by judges become the law which probationers are supposed to follow. Those laws are rarely enforced. We
wait until people do something horrible then lock them up and throw away the key. Look at the record of almost all the criminals
who do a heinous crime. Many had dozens of outstanding warrants. That means they had committed crime after crime, most drug
related, but no one had forced them to get treatment, stop taking drugs, or change their life style in any way. Probation
departments across the land claim they are too busy to go get these individuals who are deep into addiction and sober them
up. Because prevention is ignored THEY GO DEEPER INTO DRUGS AND CRIME. THEN WE FINALLY lock them up for years WHEN THEY HAVE
DONE SOMETHING BAD ENOUGH AND STUPID ENOUGH.
DRUG TREATMENT WONT WORK UNLESS YOU DO IT
MANY PEOPLE ARE UNDER THE IMPRESSION THAT DRUG TREATMENT AND DRUG REHABILITATION DON'T WORK.
THAT'S RIGHT, THEY DON'T WORK, IF YOU DON'T DO IT. AND WE'RE NOT DOING IT. PENICILLIN WON'T CURE STREP THROAT IF YOU DON'T
TAKE IT. DRUG REHABILITATION ALSO WON'T WORK IF A JUDGE ORDERS SOMEONE TO GO TO TREATMENT AND THEY DON'T BOTHER TO
SHOW UP. OR, THEY GO BUT QUIT IN A FEW WEEKS, WHICH IS WHAT 95% DO. WHEN PEOPLE ARE FORCED TO COMPLETE A TWO YEAR
TREATMENT PROGRAM, OVER 70% QUIT DRUGS AND CRIME.
Mrs. Jones goes to a medical clinic feeling dizzy. She tells the nurse "I need my blood pressure
checked." The nurse says, "The doctors are all doing heart transplants. Come back when you need one." No, doctors don't
practice medicine that way. But all across America we practice justice that way. Wouldn't you say that locking someone up
for 10 years is equivalent to a heart transplant? And ten years of jail costs a lot more than a heart transplant. Forced sobriety
programs stop crime. Such programs are very cheap, compared to the $25,000 to $50,000 it costs to lock up someone in jail
for a year. Blood pressure medications prevent heart attacks and reduce the need for heart transplants. Forced sobriety of
the criminal population prevents crime and violence. But instead of learning something about prevention from the doctors,
almost all efforts at crime prevention are being slashed to pay for more jails. SEVENTY PERCENT OF THE FELONS ON PROBATION
IN LOS ANGELES ARE SUPERVISED BY PROBATION OFFICERS WHO EACH HAVE CASELOADS OF 1,000. Preventive supervision of criminals
is impossible under those circumstances. This book details the role the beleagured probation departments across the nation
should be playing.
If the current drug crisis is comparable to a dike having sprung a thousand leaks, California's
dropping most in-prison drug treatment and substituting an A.A. meeting a week and calling drug treatment is akin to
one small boy putting one small finger in one of the thousand leaking holes. EVERY JAIL NEEDS TO BE A TREATMENT CENTER
A determined program to get people off drugs should not begin in just one jail, five to ten
years down the road. We cannot continue to "study" the problem for a few more years with more "pilot programs." We know what
works! We know the only thing that works: FORCED SOBRIETY for offenders whose criminal
behavior is driven by substance abuse, which is most of them.
Are you tired of seeing our tax dollars going up the noses of "disabled" drug addicts on social
security every month? The Social Security Administration is the biggest enabler in the history of mankind. An enabler is someone
who makes it possible for people to continue in their addiction. The Social Security Administration has promised for years
that they would start sobering up the "disabled" addicted. But their efforts so far have been sporadic and ineffective. After
reading this book, Americans will know the demands we must make in order to get the Federal Government to stop spending America's
tax dollars to keep "disabled" addicts drunk or high. THIS BOOK TELLS How to sober up the many thousands of drug addicts and
alcoholics who are receiving Social Security because of the damage done to their bodies with drug addiction and alcoholism.
STOP DRUGS AND YOU STOP CRIME
When criminals are forced to sober up they stop violence and crime. America must stop trying
to solve its social problems with jails. We can guarantee sobriety and crime reduction for a small fraction of the money we
now spend on cops, courts and jails.
This book tells how to make sure that criminals go straight when they get out of the joint.
Most of the over two million Americans locked up in prisons are there because of breaking the law while under the
influence. Only a handful get the drug treatment they need WHILE IN PRISON. THIS TREATMENT costs only $4,000 a year per prisoner.
But THE few who DO get that treatment RARELY go back to jail. The return to jail rate for the rest is about 70%. Each $4,000
extra per prisoner spent on drug treatment saves society up to a million dollars. Drug addicts do a lot of robbing. It costs
us a fortune to raise their children.
Billions of underground and untaxed dollars, each year, ARE SPENT to supply America with illegal
drugs. Most of the $600 billion in goods stolen in America each year goes to buy dope. A very substantial portion of U.S.
welfare dollars goes to men, women and children who are substance abusers. We could go a long way toward reducing the deficit
if these misdirected dollars were to remain in the American economy.
Drugs turn normal people into desperados searching for a fix. Five out of six criminals who
were forced to sober up in involuntary sobriety programs such as the "Escape from Hell: Clean and Sober Forever" Program
stopped drugs and crime. Two years after forced sobriety 50% were working and paying taxes. The "Escape from Hell: Clean
and Sober Forever" Program will reverse most of the horrors which are rotting away the soft under-belly of the American
dream. These include child abuse, gang warfare, escalating violence and crime, drive-by shootings and much of the homeless
problem. The book presents a step-by-step approach to solve the substance abuse problems which exist in the prisons, our homes,
at work, in the ghettos and in the gangs. No one will slip through the cracks if the "Escape from Hell: Clean and Sober
Forever" Program in Angel Grace's and Dr. Brennan's book is implemented.
Until society is willing to help parents with their children's addictions, this book gives tools
for parents. One is an address to which they can write to obtain mail-in urine testing kits to make sure their kids are not
lying when they claim to be sober.
We must begin to implement the humane and workable solutions to America's drug-violence which
are given in this book. What we are doing now pushes us ever closer to a sociological abyss. If we do not act quickly our
nation may plunge over the edge into total chaos.
"ESCAPE FROM HELL: CLEAN AND SOBER FOREVER"
TABLE OF CONTENTS
CHAPTER ONE THE FINAL BATTLEGROUND 1
THE BATTLE FOR THE HEART* RETURNING FROM A LIVING HELL* A NATION IN DECAY SOBERING UP AMERICA*
FINDING THE LOST SHEEP* JUST SAYING "NO" ISN'T ENOUGH* DOING MY TIME GOT EASY* TEN PERCENT OF THE INMATES ARE ALWAYS LOADED*
STAY'N OUT OF JAIL*
CHAPTER TWO GETTING SOBER: STAYING SOBER 27
SUCCESS AND DRUGS DON'T MIX* VOLUNTARY PATIENTS CHOOSE DRUGS OVER TREATMENT* FEW STAY SOBER
AFTER TREATMENT WITHOUT FOLLOW-UP DRUG TESTING* YOU DON'T HAVE TO "HIT BOTTOM' TO QUIT DOPE* WITHOUT TREATMENT, FEAR OF JAIL
WON'T STOP DRUG USE* STOP DRUGS - STOP CRIME* WHERE THERE'S DOPE, THERE'S CRIME* DECRIMINALIZATION VS. LEGALIZATION* CALIFORNIA
FARMERS GROW POT* STOP BLAMING THE GENES* CHANGING PLAYMATES AND PLAYGROUNDS*
CHAPTER THREE THE HIGH COST OF BEING HIGH 48
EX- ADDICTS PAYING TAXES* DRIVE-BY SHOOTERS: LOADED GUNS AND LOADED ON DRUGS* DRUG ADDICTS AND
ALCOHOLICS COLLECT SOCIAL SECURITY* GETTING ON SOCIAL SECURITY* DRUGS AND MENTAL ILLNESS* JAILS: THE NEW ASYLUMS* DRUGS AND
HOMELESSNESS* WHAT'S FIRST, JOBS OR SOBER?* DROPPING CRIME TO CONTROLLABLE LEVELS*
CHAPTER FOUR SUBSTANCE ABUSE AND MURDER 73
DEATH AND THE FLOWER CHILDREN* THE KILLER CLOWN* SOBERING UP SERIAL KILLERS*
CHAPTER FIVE NATIONAL DRUG POLICIES: POOR PARENTING WORST CASE SCENARIO 83
TEACHING HATE IN OUR JAILS* LEARNING SOBRIETY IN JAIL* SOBERING UP ONE ADDICT SAVES MILLIONS*
DRUGS EASIER TO GET IN JAIL THAN DRUG TREATMENT* EVEN WARDENS LIKE DRUG REHAB* THE REVOLVING DOOR TO THE JAIL* SOBERING UP
CHAPTER SIX WHERE DO WE START 112
"I WAS SO STRESSED OUT BY COURT I GOT LOADED"* PRESCRIPTION FOR DISASTER: LEGALIZED DRUGS* AMERICA
LOVES ITS JAILS* EUROPE AHEAD OF U.S. IN DRUG POLICIES* DRUGS: THE EQUAL OPPORTUNITY PATH TO RUIN*
CHAPTER SEVEN INTERVIEW WITH VICKI MARKEY, DEPUTY
PROBATION OFFICER OF SAN DIEGO COUNTY 133
THE WARRANT BANK: LIMBO OF THE ABSCONDED* THEY CAN BE FOUND IF SOMEBODY LOOKS FOR THEM* DWINDLING
SUPPORT SERVICES* DRAGGING THE LOST SHEEP BACK TO THE FOLD* SOBER LIVING HOUSES* HOMELESS SCHIZOPHRENIC SUBSTANCE ABUSERS*
TEACHING CONVICTS TO READ AND WRITE* HIDING PROBLEMS AND PAIN WITH DRUGS* SOBER LIVING HOUSES MAKE GOOD NEIGHBORS*
CHAPTER EIGHT INTERVIEWING ART FAYER AT MITE 164
TOOLS FOR SOBRIETY* BREAKING THE JAIL CYCLE WITH A SAFETY NET* "NOPE, THAT'S NOT MY DOPE"* SOBERING
UP THE HOMELESS* CHEATING ON URINE TESTS* MAKING SOBRIETY LOOK GOOD* MARIJUANA KILLS THE DESIRE TO ACHIEVE* YUPPIE AMERICA
AND THE DOPE DEALER ON THE CORNER* LEARNING TO HAVE FUN WHILE SOBER* DIGGING INTO THE PAIN*
CHAPTER NINE THE LOST BATTLES: AMERICA'S DISGRACE 193
THE MOST ADDICTED SLIP THROUGH THE CRACKS* FEELING GOOD FAST* PREVENTING THE DESCENT INTO HELL*
FIRING PAROLE OFFICERS WHILE BUILDING MORE JAILS * NOWHERE TO GO AFTER JAIL* PARENTS' RIGHTS TO SOBER KIDS* CRIPS AND BLOODS:
AMERICA'S NEW OWNERS* REHABILITATION WORKS: FOR THE FEW WHO GET IT* THE LEGAL SYSTEM AT A BREAKING POINT* SOBER LIVING FOR
ONE TENTH THE COST OF JAIL* TEETERING ON THE EDGE OF A SOCIOLOGICAL ABYSS* WATER BUFFALO HEROIN ADDICTS* WE MUST PASS CIVILIZATION
ON TO OUR CHILDREN* HUMAN TOXIC WASTE* SANCTUARY TRAUMA*
CHAPTER TEN MEMORY HEALING 231
SAYING GOODBYE* CHOOSING CHRIST TO MUFFLE THE BLOWS* GETTING RID OF NIGHTMARES* THERE IS NO
FATE BUT THAT WHICH WE MAKE*
CHAPTER ELEVEN THE RETURN FROM HELL: THE CLEAN AND SOBER FOREVER PROGRAM 247
DRUGS ARE ROTTING THE AMERICAN DREAM* "SOBER FOREVER" OPENS FOR BUSINESS* NO MORE WAITING LISTS
FOR TREATMENT* THE ROAD BACK GETS LONGER* CRUEL AND UNUSUAL PUNISHMENT* FINANCING THE "SOBER FOREVER" PROGRAM* ABANDONING
CHAPTER TWELVE THE LAST FIELDS OF BATTLE: HOME AND WORK 300
CLEAN AND SOBER AT HOME* TOOLS FOR PARENTS: URINE TESTING BY MAIL* DRUGS AND WORK* REBUILDING
NEIGHBORHOODS FROM SCRATCH* THE REBIRTH OF TALK THERAPY* GETTING YOUR BABY BACK* THREE STRIKES AND EATEN BY THE WOLVES* TELL
REFERENCES, REVIEWS AND NOTES 331
EXCERPTS FROM CHAPTER ELEVEN
THE RETURN FROM HELL: THE SOBER FOREVER PROGRAM
It is time to start an all encompassing program and prove that sobering up substance abusing
criminals reduces crime, saves lives, saves families, boosts the economy and will save the inner cities from decay. It is
time to help each member of our great nation to become the best that they can be.
DRUGS ARE ROTTING THE AMERICAN DREAM
Sobering up substance abusing criminals stops five out of six of them from committing further
crimes. As a nation, we are poised to launch into a new spiral of prison building. It is time to prove to the nation and to
the world that an involuntary sobriety program can reverse most of the horrors that have been rotting the soft underbelly
of the American dream.
If we do not control this plague that has beset our nation, where are we headed? Movie buffs
know what many film-makers predict our future to be. They picture a bleak and dangerous world filled with substance abuse
and crime. In most of these movies depicting a future drug-crazed lawless society, people are usually eating okay. The movie
makers are wrong because when things get that out of control the food chain will be disrupted. People will be starving. The
water will be polluted. The sewers will no longer work. Those not murdered will die of starvation or disease.
"CLEAN AND SOBER FOREVER" OPENS FOR BUSINESS
Lets conjure up another future. One with a happy ending. A county somewhere in America has overcome
all the detractors. The program is a "GO." Somehow the voices of those who said it would never work, and that it would cost
too much, have been temporarily stilled. This state or county has decided to call their involuntary sobriety program the "Clean
and Sober Forever" Program.
The "Clean and Sober Forever" Program has managed to win out against many competitors for the
use of a phased-out military base. The base won't be turned into a condominium development, a camping ground or even a new
university. At least not right now. Everything is already in place: the pool, the shops, the theater, the chapel. Yes, the
chapel, too. It might help if we can teach some of these substance abusers to pray. Or at least get in touch with their higher
power, whatever form they envision that to be.
Many special interest groups have proposed new usages for the military bases being phased out.
These bases would make excellent locations for a nation-wide network or "Sober Forever" Centers. If we are going to really
get serious about our drug problem, we need facilities to house and treat very large numbers of people. The barracks can house
hundreds to thousands, depending on the size of the base. We have to teach our addicts how to have fun without drugs. For
that purpose there are bowling alleys, a gym, pool, theater, hobby shops, auto repair shops for career training. And again,
a chapel for prayer.
Our first clients are arriving. There's Harry. Remember the fellow from Chapter Three who beat
up his girlfriend and ran off without paying for his gas? He'll eventually have to pay all that back, including his girlfriends
medical bills. He couldnt do that if he had gone to jail. He can if he sobers up. He has chosen to take part in the "Clean
and Sober Forever" Program as a diversion. That means that if he participates in this program he will be "diverted" from the
usual series of legal steps: He will not have to face prosecution and jail.
It has been said before in this book that getting sober is easy, staying sober is the hard
part. Dr. Brennan and Angel Grace might have lied just a little bit because getting sober isn't always
easy either. It will take about seven to ten days for Harry and our first guests to get the drugs or alcohol out of their
system. After another week, their ability to process information about themselves and their surroundings will begin to return.
By the third week they can begin helping with a plan to keep themselves sober. By this time there are probably at least a
few minutes each day when they are not thinking about how nice it would be to get loaded. During this recovery period they
won't have to waste time thinking about lawyers and how to beat the rap. As long as they are sober and keep out of trouble
there won't be any rap.
They will spend several hours a day learning about addictions and about themselves. There will
be no heavy confrontations about denial or how they screwed up their lives. They will be helped through the detox process.
That's the time when the body and the mind are both screaming because of having to face life without the numbing chemicals.
There is a powerful rebound effect that can go on for a long time during and after withdrawal. When substance abusers give
up their drugs and alcohol they go from "everything is cool" to "everything hurts and is too loud!"
This is the time the substance abuser in withdrawal needs support from others who can guarantee
that this emotional roller coaster won't last forever. They can promise this because they have already gone through it. Quite
often most of the staff at drug/alcohol rehabilitation centers are substance abuse addicts in recovery.
There will be some easy-to-watch videos that give a thousand reasons and a hundred ways to stay
sober. Newly sober brains can't process a lot of information. Newly sober brains are crying "Numb me again, knock me out."
They will have to hear the "Sober is better" message more than a few times before they believe it in their hearts.
They will learn how to relax their bodies. They will have fear and anger. These emotions can
be tamed - with practice. And with the practice, comes growth. They will be taught to feel better without using drugs. They
will learn to have fun without drugs or alcohol. The 'enlightened sober' are those who were never addicted to drugs or alcohol.
They are convinced that anyone with an ounce of will power could quit anytime they see that addiction and substance abuse
causes problems. They often see substance abuse as this terribly destructive experience that wastes peoples lives.
But to our clients, drugs were a problem only when they couldnt get them. Drugs were a solution
to all their other problems. Poor? Get loaded. Got a broken heart? Get loaded. Drugs can make all the other problems go away,
at least for awhile.
Our clients used drugs to feel good. When they accidentally sobered up long enough to see how
bad things had gotten, what did they do? They got loaded, and quickly. The more drugs they took the less they took care of
themselves. The more drugs they took the worse things got around them. They did not want to face the disasters their lives
had become. The first thing the junkie wants to do when he gets sober is to quickly get high so he can forget.
Others who have sobered up and gotten their lives back will share their experiences. Our clients
will listen to their new buddies talk about why they wanted to get sober. There are Bradshaw videos on the dysfunctional family.
It is good to understand your roots. Our clients will go to group meetings. There they will be encouraged to face themselves
and their fears.
Alcoholics Anonymous has a saying, "Go to ninety meetings in ninety days and if you are not
satisfied, your misery will be cheerfully refunded." Narcotics Anonymous and Alcoholics Anonymous are good programs but they
are voluntary. Around one in twenty people who go at least once to these programs actually stick with those programs. Those
who do get their lives back. The "Clean and Sober Forever" Program is designed to give back the lives of substance abusers
who haven't even asked for them back.
NO MORE WAITING LISTS FOR TREATMENT
There are waiting lists all across America to get into drug treatment. The people who are most
in need of sobering up haven't even thought of putting themselves on a waiting list. By the time their name comes up, the
ones who are on the waiting list have often changed their minds. They have decided to get loaded. Usually they think, "just
one more time." Many thousands of clients could be processed through just one military base-turned-sobriety center each year.
The waiting lists for treatment to get sober will be a thing of the past.
A variety of living arrangements will be permissible for those who are staying sober, coming
to meetings, and working the program. They might live in barracks, at home, or with some sober buddies. It's when the "voluntary"
involvement doesn't work, when they don't show up for meetings and testing, that the involuntary, high security system of
jail or prison kicks in. Hopefully, this phase of involuntary custody will be brief: a week, ten days. Not the one to five
years substance abusers now often face for getting loaded.
We will tell our clients, "If you really want to see your old buddies from the gang, have them
come join you in the "Clean and Sober Forever" Program. And when you are all sober, you can rent a house together. You can
work on your sobriety together. You can get a life. And if you think that selling and using dope and running the streets and
dying young is a life, you won't think that anymore after you have been with us for awhile."
Angel Grace's and Dr. Brennan's "Clean and Sober Forever" Program will monitor our clients
moves. One no-show, one failed urine test, triggers action. This action still might not involve the courts, police, or probation
officers. Ten sober buddies might be able to talk to the guy who slipped into coming back into the program. They might all
go to the desert for a soul searching survival weekend to study the ancient ways of becoming a warrior.
Drastic changes must occur in the jails. The jails must become civilized. They can be. The therapeutic
programs such as "Stay'n Out" costs only $4,000 a year per inmate but saves millions of dollars in other costs per prisoner.
Every prisoner must have access to this rehabilitation. We know it works. Wardens need to be given leeway on the length of
sentences. They need to be given rewards for graduating people back into society who sober up, go to work and do not get rearrested.
Wardens need to have the freedom to cut ten year sentences to two years. They need to provide
intensive drug rehabilitation during those last two years using the "Stay'n Out" model. They need to be able to use the savings
on guards and jail space to launch massive follow-up programs for their graduates. They need to keep a very close watch on
each and every man who leaves prison. They need to have teams who will quickly bring back to prison those who have slipped.
Additional brief episodes of in-prison or in a secure treatment facility will be provided for those who wavered in their determination
to be sober.
If the wardens we now have are unable or unwilling to make these drastic changes, the whole
prison system needs to be put out to bid to private contractors. These contractors will run "for profit" prisons. Their contracts
will either be renewed or taken over by others depending on who rehabilitates the highest percentage of prisoners. That means
who succeeds in producing the most clean and sober, law abiding, working Americans. Sorry, the drinking days of those joining
the "Clean and Sober Forever" Program are over. They will not be allowed to simply substitute a legal drug for an illegal
drug. Alcoholics are perfectly capable of extreme acts of violence and of ruining their lives and the lives of everyone around
them just as are drug addicts. Clients enrolled in the "Sober Forever" Program will be monitored closely for drugs and
alcohol. Which method of getting high hurts most? There are ten times as many alcoholics as drug addicts
but the death rate from drugs is getting very close to the death rate from alcohol.
The probation departments across the land will not monitor "Clean and Sober Forever" clients
except under certain circumstances. Some 70% to 95% of all people on probation or parole in America are under-monitored even
in the very tightest of systems. Most can get loaded and stay loaded for months at a time before anyone does anything. Jeff
Dahmer stayed drunk for several years while on probation during his most active killing phase. When the system does finally
react, it is often an over-reaction resulting in several years in jail.
Because of crowded jails, five year sentences often end up being eighteen months or less. When
people hear that they scream "More jails! Let them do their full time!" Our whole society is fixated on trying the same stupid
solution over and over. Why stupid? Anything that has been proven conclusively over and over to not work but is still being
used over and over is stupid.
The eighteen month rotations back through the jails are welcomed by the homeboys. They need
these times in the joint for networking, making new connections and new business contacts. They learn a lot in the joint about
what is the new good dope and who has it. Snitches and traitors can be killed, vendettas arranged.
As it is, only 15% or less of all prison inmates known to have serious drug abuse problems are
bothered with the inconvenience of having to go to meetings while in jail to try to get sober. Such meetings would interfere
with body building and other 'business as usual' inside the joint.
"Clean and Sober Forever" Program participants will be deprived of the opportunity to network
and establish new 'business' contacts in the joint. We won't be putting them back in jail or their secure drug treatment center
long enough for them to build up new networks. They'll go in for five days the first time, then ten days and thirty days if
they still don't get the picture. In jail or the treatment center, they will spend some eight to twelve hours a day working
on their sobriety. While in jail or the treatment center they will be watching videos, rapping in groups. They will be enrolled
in a therapeutic community type of in-prison rehabilitation. This will be modeled after the "Stay'n Out" Program which has
a very high success rate. If they don't have one, they will learn a trade. The one weakness in the "Stay'n Out" Program, lack
of adequate follow-up after release from prison, will be corrected in the "Clean and Sober Forever" Program.
We will be turning "voluntary" program participants into "involuntary" participants from the
start. That way, their request for help in achieving sobriety will be honored. We will keep our promise even if they change
their minds later. What happens if they change their mind after a few days in the program, as most addicts do? What if they
decide that the pull of drugs and their old way of life is too strong to resist?
Since we have made a contract with them, a promise that we will help them fight these urges,
we will honor our contract. We will make it possible for them to honor their contract. Once enrolled in the "Clean and Sober
Forever" Program, if people change their minds about getting sober or even being in the program, it won't make any difference.
They are still going to get sober.
Sometime in the future, after a few days, months, or perhaps even years later, they will be
grateful. When they have a life and they are still sober and still alive, at some time in the future, they will thank us.
Probably not at first, maybe not for months or years. They may call us every name in the book as their bodies and minds scream
out for the instant relief that they know is available from chemicals. They will finally, one day, be grateful that their
new friends helped them face their fears without chemistry. One day they will be glad we didn't let them slip back. But there
will be many struggles on the way to sobriety and this new life. They will often fight like hell to get back to the hell their
life had become on drugs.
Is the "Clean and Sober Forever" Program that different from many programs now in existence?
Yes, in one very important way. There is virtually no tracking of the substance abuser in almost all other programs as soon
as he leaves or graduates. No one knows where most of the drug offenders on probation are, or what they are doing. The goal
of the "Clean and Sober Forever" Program will be to know where our clients are almost all the time. Our clients' health and
safety, which can only be assured if they are sober, is worth the effort of keeping in touch. This is the "long tail" discussed
earlier. Multiple strategies will be used to guarantee that we keep in touch. If a program participant gets high or gets drunk
this will be known, ideally in minutes.
How long does it take to track down someone who has decided to go off and get loaded? In cities
all across America there are thousands of "lost" probationers who haven't drug tested as ordered. Nor have they gotten into
treatment as ordered. Though they are in violation of probation, the Probation Department says they cant find them. Many of
them live in their own homes. When probation officers called their number and someone said they weren't there that was the
end of the search.
The Probation Department says they don't have the resources to track down "absconded" or "on
the lam" criminal dopers to get them sober. But, special units working gangs knew how to locate anyone they want within an
hour. Every large city in America has unserved felony warrants in the thousands. Denver has 10,000 loose felons who haven't
been tried yet for crimes such as rape, murder, etc. Los Angeles has 20,000. Law enforcement is so busy handling each new
crisis they don't have time to track down these felons.
It turns out that a lot of different approaches work in treating addictions. Getting sober is
hard, staying sober is even harder. Creativity in utilizing a wide variety of different methods to keep track of people and
keep people sober on a long-term basis is critical. Our drug addicts are truly our "lost sheep," and we, the shepherds, must
leave the flock of 99 to track down and return the strays. The certain knowledge of the consequences of getting loaded, that
is, jail or a higher security setting, will help. Add to that the absolute determination of a powerful peer group to do whatever
they can to enforce sobriety. Those efforts will make jail and courts unnecessary in most cases.
Stories about the effectiveness of A.A. (Alcoholics Anonymous) are legion. Unfortunately, of
those referred to A.A., less than 20% show up even once. Of those who do show up, the percentage who actually follow through
with regular, long-term attendance and work a good A.A. based program is smaller still. Even so, we have learned a lot from
A.A. That is because very important long-term attitude changes occur in those who do make A.A. a way of life. Sometimes these
dramatic changes don't occur until months or years after achieving sobriety. We have found that the drop-out rate from most
voluntary programs runs between 50% and 95%.
After substance abusers finally quit all the denial, they can recognize how endangered their
lives had been. The addict who is involuntarily pried away from his favorite form of chemical happiness can also gradually
absorb the knowledge that his/her life was out of control and that death was near.
The average life span of the homeless alcohol/drug addict is 41 years. This is 30 years less
than the average American male. The sobered up addict has to be reminded frequently how much his quality of life has improved
since he became substance free. It is rare that sober doesn't mean a longer and better life.
Providing jobs, either real jobs or made up jobs, will be important. Camden house residents
were cleaning up abandoned row houses to make them livable again. They were reclaiming real estate which had been abandoned
to drugs and crime. They got into the habit of engaging in that four letter word activity called "WORK" for a few hours each
day. These basic work skills cannot be developed in someone who is under the influence of chemical substances. Concentration,
memory and patience are too impaired in the substance abuser for them to learn much in the way of new skills.
They not only cannot learn basic job skills while they are under the influence, they are not
interested. Money earned in the standard work force is often seen as "chump change" by the sixteen year old who can make $1,000
a day selling drugs. But if nobody is buying drugs, nobody will be selling drugs. When that happens, the "job" of dope dealer
will no longer be a career option.
THE ROAD BACK GETS LONGER
We need to round up and hold in a guaranteed sobriety program all the substance abusers who
are currently falling through the cracks of the existing diversion programs such as the P.C. 1000 program in California. Only
60% of those referred actually complete the program. Nobody knows what happens to even that 60% just a few weeks after they
finish the program.
The ones who fail to follow through on P.C. 1000 end up in the "warrant bank" limbo on their
way to hell. The ones too angry and/or too loaded to even do that easy diversion program are the same ones most in need of
sobering up. Every day that they are out there doing drugs they go further into their personal hell and the road back gets
CRUEL AND UNUSUAL PUNISHMENT
What excuse does our judicial system have for being locked into the same escalation of vicious
punishments? Standard judicial procedures often dictate a doubling of sentences with each new offense. Would you call ten
years in jail for getting sucked into the hell of drug addiction a vicious punishment? Dr. Brennan and Angel Grace would.
So do a lot of judges. We already know that only 15% of drug abusing criminals do get drug rehabilitation while in prison.
We need to teach sober behavior. We need to stop brutally punishing people for engaging in junkie/crime behavior. The few
lucky prisoners who used to get in-jail rehab, such as those in the "Stayn Out" program, learned the new behaviors of living
sober and work. And that is what most of them did when they get out.
Our national judicial system is slow to explore the alternative interventions such as those
outlined here. Those in leadership positions who read proposals like this often say, "We cant afford it, we are already stretched
too thin." Secretly, they don't believe in this rehabilitation crap and feel that not only punishment, but hard punishment,
is the only thing these stupid dope fiends will ever understand.
That vendetta attitude may have some emotional catharsis value to it as our prosecuting attorneys
brag, "I put that sucker away for life." But our attorneys' emotional catharsis does not sober people up, nor does it stop
criminals from committing more crime. It does not protect our children from unprecedented dangers in their own homes, in their
neighborhoods, and in their schools.
Since everyone in control of the budget now thinks that all the resources available must be
spent on courts, cops, jails and lawyers, financing for the "Clean and Sober Forever" Program may have to come from other
sources. After the "Sober Forever" Program has been in effect for a few years the jails and courts will be almost empty. Maybe
then some of the money now thrown away in the judicial system can be used to build parks or roads or jobs. But don't count
on it. Lawyers do not like to wait in line for unemployment checks.
FINANCING THE 'CLEAN AND SOBER FOREVER' PROGRAM
If those in power will not crank even another dime loose to sober up America, where will the
money come from to implement the "Clean and Sober Forever" Program? The people who will benefit most from the program will
have to pay for it. That is, the program participants or "Clean and Sober Forever" clients themselves. There are many privately
run programs which are financed from a variety of sources. The California P.C. 1000 drug diversion program is paid for by
the participants, as is the SB 38 drunk driving program in California.
Not everyone going into the "Clean and Sober Forever" Program will have the money to pay for
it. We will be going after, treating and rehabilitating the bottom line drug addict who has no money. Alternatives include:
(1) The drug offenders with money may have to be charged a bit more than the program actually
costs to help pay for those without money. The two year SB 38 drunk driving program charges fees on a sliding scale but the
private providers of this program still manage to stay in business.
(2) Funding sources, city and county governments, may have to be talked into reallocating resources.
(3) Make the cost of the program a loan to the druggie who has no money. Collect from him later
when he is working and sober. Instead of a student loan, it could be called a "Sober Loan."
(4) Open up more bingo games as MITE operates (see Chapter Eight) and let the bingo fans subsidize
the drug rehab programs. When we as Americans become convinced that the "Clean and Sober Forever" Program is the way to go,
we will find the money to run it. Or, let agencies like MITE run gambling casinos with all the profits to go for treatment
for drug and alcohol addiction.
(5) Law enforcement agencies have made a lot of money fighting the war on drugs. The DEA (Drug
Enforcement Administration) has boasted for years that it is the only U.S. Agency besides the IRS that operates at a profit.
In 1989 the DEA seized $1.1 billion in cash on a budget of $500 million. Anti-drug enforcement, like the cocaine traffic business
itself, pays well.
All law enforcement agencies should be forced to funnel half of all money from seizures, sales
of confiscated boats, vehicles, cash money, into a treatment fund. The monies should then be dispensed to fund those treatment
programs with the best track record. Another criteria would be that the program, if it is an outpatient one, would have had
to incorporate the "Clean and Sober Forever" Program principles. That means the "never give up" approach and long follow-up.
We have proven that supply curtailment does nothing to stop the problem. We have proven that treatment can and does stop the
problem. Doesn't it make sense that more money needs to go to treatment instead of more jails and cops and robbers?
(6) We are facing a national crisis, a failure in morality, a decay of our cities and of our
moral values perhaps not seen since the legendary Sodom and Gomorrah were destroyed by God's wrath. Not looking back might
have saved Lot, but our ignoring the problem and the right solution is disastrous. We don't need God to rain hell-fire down
on us. It turns out we are perfectly capable of totally destroying ourselves without His help.
When the German peoples faced the gigantic task of reuniting the two Germanies, they rallied
around the cause. East Germany was a disaster area of antique equipment and hazardous, highly polluted working conditions.
The Germans were willing to do whatever it would take to make the unification successful. They knew it would take money. They
cheerfully accepted a 50 cent a gallon increase in the cost of gasoline to help fund the reunification costs. Gas in Europe
already costs two to four times what we in the U.S. pay for gas.
We have a crisis of much greater proportion than was facing the German people. They wanted to
bring their people together under one rule. We have a nation in decay. We could provide treatment for the millions of Americans
who need it with a 50 cents a gallon price increase. We could provide treatment for the three million alcoholic teenagers
and the seven million adult alcoholics. We could provide treatment for people in prison so they will stay sober when they
We must take the two million homeless teenagers in America off the street. Most of them are
there because of substance abuse. They may have been kicked out of their homes because they were loaded all the time. Some
left home because their parents were loaded all the time and the streets were safer than home. We must feed them, house them,
educate them, give them job training, teach them values, and sober them up. And finally, we must love them. Which no one is
ABANDONING OUR YOUTH
If we want our younger generation to take care of us after we grow older, we better get them
off drugs and teach them to work. We are discarding the population of over two million homeless teenagers and the many more
millions of homeless adult Americans (many if not most of them substance abusers) as though they were toxic waste. We just
don't know where to dump them. When we do try to dump them, they don't stay dumped. They keep coming back to rob us or shoot
us or each other. We need to regard the existence of these millions of substance abusers as untapped resources and as opportunities
to add to America's productivity. We need to be moving them toward maximizing and fulfilling their now unfulfilled capabilities
and promise as human beings. If we don't do that, nobody will be there to pay for all these wonderful social security benefits
Americans have so generously voted for themselves over the years.
If we choose number six to raise money to pay for sobering up America (increase the gas tax
by 50 cents) who will have the power to demand that the money be used for the reason it was collected? Advocates of treatment
and the "Clean and Sober Forever" type of program will have to fight hard to make sure that money, if it is ever voted in,
actually goes to where it was intended.
The Justice Department is full of very powerful and influential people who snatch every dime
they can away from treatment to spend on more cops and robbers' games. They love their expensive toys. Just $10 million for
this wonderful helicopter that will catch maybe two airplanes full of pot next year. We could have sobered up 2,500 drug addicts
next year with that $10 million.
We must be very careful. In Latin and South America all the major cities each have thousands
of homeless teenagers. The total comes to millions. These are the lands of the poppy, the coca plant and hemp. Even so, these
children don't seem to have good access to cocaine, heroin and marijuana. Their drug of choice? Airplane glue. Hungry and
high, robbing people, snatching purses from tourists, they have become a threat. In Brazil there are death squads, paid for
by local merchants, who hunt these problematic teenagers down and kill them for a few dollars each. "They are bad for business"
the merchants complain. So far, prosecutions for these murders has been nil. We must never let this happen in America. We
must take action now while there is still time. Unless we rescue and rehabilitate the two million homeless teenagers from
the streets of America we will soon be viewing them as toxic waste. They are now perceived as that by Brazil's merchants.
Our homeless youth are already disappearing off America's streets and the face of the earth at a frightening rate. But nobody
really has any statistics on that. Just how many of those "missing" American teenagers are really still alive? Nobody knows.
How many of those lonely, desperate, drug addicted homeless teenagers were viciously sodomized, murdered, and lie in shallow
graves somewhere? Nobody knows. I don't think America wants to know. Those homeless teenagers who do survive in the streets
very often grow up to be dangerous and violent adults.
As we have seen, America's adult homeless are basically in the same dilemma. Substance abuse
put most of them on the streets and keeps most of them there. San Francisco tried a grand experiment a couple years back,
a tent city for the homeless, with portable toilets spread liberally around the compound. The residents of this tent city
were too drunk or too loaded to walk the few yards to the portable johns. Soon the place reeked with a stench that carried
for blocks. Another failed experiment. It never occurred to anyone to make sure the residents of this tent city were sober.
If they had, the outcome would have been considerably different.
Ninety-five percent of the probation department's work must be shifted to agencies like MITE
(Mcalister Institute for Training). That way, with only five percent of their work left to do, the probation department should
be able to do it very well. Their job will be to chase and bring back the lost sheep. If they can't even do that then the
wardens of the prisons must do it. If the wardens refuse to do it the whole prison system must be put out to bid. Contract
renewals will be based on how many people they have rehabilitated back into society and back into jobs. Finally, we will be
able to rip the bars off the nearly empty jails and turn them into places where our homeless teenagers or adults will go to
sober up. There, they will learn to become human beings, learn a trade and learn how to work.
We have more information in America on the level of unburned carbons coming out of our muffler
than we do on where our addicts are, what they are doing, who has arrested them lately, and the current poisons they
are putting in their body. Earlier in this book the satellite guidance system was mentioned. We can now program
a destination into our in-car computer and a voice guides us, street by street, to where we want to go. With modification
of existing tracking/guidance systems via satellite, the probation department will be able to quickly find anyone they want
to find. In the future, such a homing device may be built into an ankle or wrist bracelet which only the probation department
can remove. Removal without permission would trigger an intense hunt and return the addict to the fold. More invasion of privacy?
Those who object can serve out their lengthy prison sentences and forego freedom. Freedom will never mean free to get high.
People invariably prefer the much more limited "home arrest" electronic monitoring units now in existence over jail.
We look the other way because people are supposed to have fun in America in their own way. Then
we "throw the book at them" and lock them up for as long as we can because their "fun" went a little too far. Why do I say
that America has apparently decided to allow people to 'have fun' by taking drugs? Because there are at least 300 known and
well identified street markets for drugs in New York City alone. These are places throughout the city where drug dealers and
users do a brisk business all day long. It is likely that a few hundred thousand or more drug transactions take place in open
view in New York City each day.
Suggested priority lists of whom we sober up first when the "Clean and Sober Forever" Program
is implemented were given earlier in this book. The list included "absconded" addicts on probation who had failed to follow
through on drug treatment and testing. It included all those in the "warrant bank" of "failures to appear" in court on various
charges. Most of those people are substance abusers. It included the over a million Americans in jail and the three million
more on probation or parole. Just a handful of that four million are getting the rehabilitation (or in many cases, habilitation)
they need to sober up. Only a handful are on a path that will lead them to being contributors to our society. As it is, most
of them are sucking up all of our precious emotional and financial resources in every area of our lives.
When we have cleaned up those lists, then we will go to the street markets. There, we will first
collect all the customers and enroll them in the "Clean and Sober Forever" Program. Then we will go back and collect and enroll
the now unemployed dealers so they themselves can get off drugs and get training for a new career and get a life.
Nobody seems to recognize the strange truth that if you treat people like animals they act like
animals. In the few places in-prison therapeutic community drug treatment programs exist and people are treated like human
beings with assets whose capabilities need to be developed, they act like human beings and there is a warm, friendly, non-violent
For those who have been patient enough to read this far, Dr. Gary Brennan and Angel Grace have
proposed a treatment program for early intervention in teen substance abuse. The program:
TEEN RESCUE: A PROPOSAL FOR A PROGRAM TO RESCUE
TEENS FROM SUBSTANCE ABUSE EARLY IN THEIR SUBSTANCE ABUSE CAREER
There was a time in New York when a parent could call for help if he or she suspected drug abuse.
Now, a parent's phone call for help might result in the parent being provided with a list of agencies that treat drug abuse.
How many parental calls for help result in a teenager being rescued from substance abuse? We may never know for sure, but
current policies rarely involve active intervention because of a parental phone call. Once youths have been arrested at least
once, the system may begin to respond. How many youths new into substance abuse would be willing to admit they are involved
in drugs and then go to drug treatment counseling and subject themselves to testing? Denial is the typical reaction of the
teen on drugs when responding to their concerned parents accusations or fears.
The program being proposed would provide a response to parents asking for help. Drug counselors
would visit the home of concerned/suspicious parents and obtain a sample of blood or urine to determine if the child or teen
in question is under the influence of an illegal substance. New technologies may make it unnecessary to obtain blood or urine
samples, as some pharmaceutical companies are claiming that even a fingerprint will reveal the presence of an illegal substance.
Isn't this invasion of privacy? The law allows for collection of samples of blood or urine to
determine if an individual is under the influence when there is probable cause. Parental suspicion based on finding drugs,
paraphernalia, or noticing other symptoms of drug abuse, is probable cause. Other symptoms of substance abuse include mood
changes, problem behavior, failing grades and truancy. Once found positive for an illegal substance, the individual is in
violation of the law and a condition of probation is staying clean. Careful monitoring and treatment would guarantee continued
sobriety in the "Teen Rescue" program, a variation of the "Clean and Sober Forever" Program.
If all that is required to rescue teens at the beginning of their drug abuse careers is enforcing
already existing laws, why isn't this being done now on a routine basis? Laws already on the books allow testing for an illegal
substance based on probable cause. These laws are greatly under-utilized because the police and probation officers are busy
"putting out fires" so to speak. They cannot even keep up with people re-arrested for new crimes committed under the influence.
They claim that they don't have the resources to go after kids already on probation for drug involvement who have run away
from home and hang out taking drugs. And that is even when they have been told where to go to find the kids. Basically,
at both the child and adult level, people, who don't show up for school, treatment or testing, are lost until re-arrested
for a new crime. A stitch in time saves nine. Allowing teens to get very deep into their drug career, until they have committed
various crimes is very expensive. The teen (or in a very short time, young adult) who could have been sobered up for a few
dollars at the beginning of their substance abuse career is now costing $20,000 to $50,000 a year to maintain in prison.
Calls to rescue teens also will be fielded from the schools where basically everyone knows who
the stoners are. That is, the ones who fall asleep in class, the ones found with paraphernalia or drugs. Often, even the finding
of drugs on the person of a student on campus does not result in entering the legal system to get help in getting sober.
If drug addicts are stopped early in their careers, then teen and young adult crime rates should
plummet, more so each year the program is in existence. Eighty-five percent of all people arrested for anything are under
the influence at the time. Almost half of the 2.3 or so million prisoners in U.S. jails are locked up for non-violent
drug offenses. What about heroin and cocaine addicts? The kids don't usually start with heroin; they start with pot and amphetamines.
New research puts to rest the myth that marijuana is not a gateway drug. Teens who smoke marijuana are 85 times more likely
to go on to hard drugs than non-pot-smoking teens. The new and improved stronger marijuana strains result in psychosis for
many teen users, sometimes just a few months after initiation into pot smoking. Marijuana is not harmless after all. There
were approximately 38,000 crashes in 2003 involving drivers impaired by marijuana. Starting marijuana use during teens may
result in cognitive impairment later in life. There is evidence that individuals who start to smoke marijuana at an early
age--while the brain is still developing show greater cognitive deficits than do individuals who begin use of the drug when
they are older. Individuals who started using marijuana at age 17 or younger performed significantly worse on the tests assessing
verbal functions such as verbal IQ and memory of word lists than did those who started using marijuana later in life or who
had used the drug sparingly.
Cooperation of the district attorney, the Juvenile Court System, must be obtained. It is anticipated
that most of the teens enrolled in the "Teen Rescue" program will become clean and sober without needing detox. Those who
refuse follow-up testing and treatment will need more efforts, possibly time in a detox facility, possibly a stay in Juvenile
Hall. The basic message will be, "You will be clean and sober, you can be clean and sober outside, while in treatment and
follow-up testing, or, in some kind of facility. Take your pick."
It might be necessary at some point to provide a live-in secure facility through where
rehabilitation would proceed. Who would be on the team that goes to the home or the school to obtain the sample? Who would
be on the team to go bring the youths into a facility of some kind (detox or rehab) when they didn't cooperate with testing
and follow-up treatment? Would this be off-duty police officers hired to moonlight? Recent research suggests that rather than
a facility housing problem youths who for one reason or another can't go home again, foster parents with special training
paid who are $1,000 a month to house a teen might lead to a more successful outcome. A thousand dollars a month is still
a thirtieth of what many in-patient detox facilities charge.
What is different about this program from the programs already in existence? Youths are already
tested, housed in facilities. The difference is that once enrolled in the "Teen Rescue" program, no one will be allowed to
fall through the cracks. As it is, even in the best programs in the nation, too many fall through the cracks. Eventually
virtually all teen-age substance abusers show up in the criminal justice system, some not until ten years later - after ten
years of drugging and a series of violent crimes. In the "Teen Rescue" program workers will go out either the same night a
teen doesn't show up to an assigned rehab meeting or at the latest by the next day.
For $4,000 a year for each teen, for a couple of years, it could be guaranteed that youths who
had started on drugs would remain clean and sober.
The focus initially will be on teens at the very first stages of their substance abuse career.
If funds allow, the homeless drug addicted youth population would be the second priority.
Research documents show the fact that teens who abuse substances are likely to continue into
adulthood as substance abusers, limiting their chances of success in life. "The foundation for later substance use is set
for most people by the time they finish high school," said Alicia Merline, a University of Michigan psychologist who studied
men and women who graduated from high school between 1977 and 1983. She and her colleagues found that those who drank heavily
in school were three times more likely to drink heavily at age 35 than those who were high school teetotalers. Those who had
tried marijuana in school were eight times more likely to be using marijuana at 35 than those who hadn't tried it by high