A Healthier beginning

by Gabrielle9 on November 5, 2015 - 11:55pm



Drugs are pervasive and are therefore very present in our society. Indeed, it has been mentioned that even Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is considering the official legalization of marijuana. Unfortunately, this will only worsen the drug abuse problem. Consequently, we must find a long-term solution to better, if not, solve this issue. A good place to start would be targeting a place where there are many drug abuser; prison. Fortunately, there are programs, projects and studies that are put in place to provide aid for prisoners who are involved with drugs such as Project BRITE which stands for: Behavioural Reinforcement to Increase Treatment Engagement. This was a four-year study of a prison-based drug treatment program that test the impacts of positive reinforcement on inmates.


Project BRITE consists of an institutional staff, a treatment staff and of course, the inmates. This was a four-year study that evaluated the consequences of positive reinforcement on inmates of both genders in twelve week intensive drug treatment programs. Out of 1,600 male inmates, there were forty-eight spots available. Out of one hundred and seventy-five female inmates, there were twenty-four slots. Moreover, this experiment consisted of seventy-two hours of ‘’cognitive behavioural treatment with three two-jour group sessions per week.’’ Indeed, the inmates participated in different treatment-related activities that promoted recovery and a healthy lifestyle. They used contingency management which is ‘’a behaviourally based protocol that involves the systematic application of positive reinforcement following the demonstration of a desired behaviour.’’ The first step of this conceptual model is to target a specific behaviour, the second step is behavioural reinforcement. The third step is to commence the treatment engagement with motivation, attendance, retention and completion. The fourth step is the physcosocial functioning which refers to the inmates’s interaction in a social environment. The fifth step is to evaluate their participation level, drug use and criminal behaviour. Interestingly enough, the members of BRITE noticed that this positive reinforcement increased the inmates’ engagement and motivation to participate. Moreover, they noted psychosocial improvement as well as a decrease in drug use and re-arrests. Indeed, project BRITE is one of many that are on the verge of possibly finding a long-term solution to drug abuse. This proves that treatment produces better results than punishment as it teaches, makes the inmate reflect and react in an appropriate manner.




Indeed, there are multiple differences when writing a blog with the help of an official academic article or doing so with another article. Indeed, official academic articles are much more analyzed in depth. They  use concrete evidence for every claim made. Moreover, the vocabulary is more official language, more specific and advanced vocabulary while the non-official article use more standard language in order to ensure that the general readers are able to correctly and easily comprehend the content. Academic articles are also much lengthier than non-official articles.
















While project BRITE seems very promising and an excellent tool for rehabilitation of drug users, I believe there is an important mental health aspect to explore further when discussing this issue.

Substance abuse disorders are extremely damaging to one's general quality of life, in some cases, destroying people's live. And so, the prevalence of preexisting substance abuse disorders is extremely relevant here. The underlying substance dependence is what leads all these people to be put in prison and have their lives ruined. Accordingly, if we take a mental health perspective and understand the roots causes of the issue, more can be done in terms of prevention and aid rather than treating once the damage has already been done. Substance abuse disorders have many aspects to them: psychological influences, social expectations, exposure to the drug and biological influences. For this reason, they must all be paid attention to. Ergo, if we treated drug abusers as people with a mental health condition, maybe much more progress can be made. Basically, prison or rehab should be last measures, not the only measure.

Your post is very strong in terms of the proofs that you give. You explain how experiments like the BRITE, help find information about how different genders react to drug use, and that positive reinforcement decreases drug use. However, you only give the link of the two articles you used at the bottom of the page of your post. Your reader would be much more convinced if you mentioned at the beginning the authors of the articles, or the names of the people who conducted the experiments that you summarized. For example, when you describe the drug use in the prisons, you could mention that you took that information from the US National Library of Medicine and The National Institute of Health. These are reliable governmental and non-lucrative sites, but as I mentioned, the reader does not know you used them unless he or she clicks on the link at the bottom of your post. Also, the main author of the first article that you used, William M. Burdon, is one of the main investigators of the Pacific Coast Research Center of NIDA’s Criminal Justice Drug Abuse Treatment Studies, which demonstrates that he is a very reliable expert. You also used EbscoHost, which has academic journals and articles, but it would have been better if you had mentioned not only the site, but most importantly, the authors of the article and the title. At the moment, your reader cannot know which article in EbscoHost you referenced because you only give the EbscoHost link, but not the article link. Lastly, it is also important to mention the dates that the articles were posted, or the year that the experiments were conducted. Your reader would be more convinced if he or she knew that the experiments were done in the last five years.