If you want to seek substance abuse treatment after you leave prison, you have options. You may even be required to enroll in a treatment program. Enrolling may be one of your conditions of release. Depending on where you are in prison, you might be able to start treatment while you are inside.
Can you start treatment while you are in prison?
You don’t have to wait until after prison to start substance abuse treatment. The BOP provides several different substance abuse programs of its own. One of the biggest programs is the Residential Drug Abuse Program (RDAP). This program is usually about nine months. It is a community supervision program.
During this time, you live separate from the general population. You will live with other people taking part in RDAP. The BOP calls this a pro-social community. In RDAP, you will spend half of your day in the program. You will spend the other half of your day at work or in school. Congress gives money to states to have programs similar to RDAP. Every state and territory in the country has a substance abuse treatment program for people in prison.
Can you continue to get substance abuse treatment after you are released from prison?
Yes. The BOP has a program called the Community Treatment Services (CTS). This is a residential reentry program. It is a network of community-based treatment providers throughout the United States. CTS works with those who were in RDAP. States also have their own versions of CTS.
Will you get drug tested during probation?
If your probation officer asks for it or a court orders it, yes. Courts can include drug and alcohol testing as a probation condition. Probation officers may also be able to request random or regular tests. They do not need to give you any warning that they plan on testing you. If you test positive, it is a violation. Even if substance abuse treatment was not part of your probation, you may still go back to prison.
Will you have to take classes during probation?
Your terms of probation may require you to go to drug or alcohol courses during probation. These courses can involve either individual or group counseling. Once you finish these classes you will get a certificate. You will need to have this certificate to complete your sentence.
Can you go to a rehabilitation center while on probation?
Yes. But there will be restrictions. Depending on the terms of your probation, you may not be able to leave your state or even your city. You may also have a curfew. That could mean you might not be able to go to a residential rehab center. Your parole officer may be able to refer you to a program or a therapist instead.
Prisons provide counseling and other programs for incarcerated people. But you can continue substance abuse treatment after prison, too. You will have access to state or federal programs depending on where you were in prison. Your probation terms may even require you to take certain drug or alcohol classes. You can also go to a rehab center if it fits within your terms of probation.