For once, Casey is optimistic about his future. After 16 years of struggling with drug addiction, he no longer feels the need to use. He has a steady job doing hazard tree removal for a Fortune 500 energy company. He’s working on getting specialized training for a license to help him land better-paying jobs. He’s even going to the gym.
But Casey, who asked that I only use his first name for this story, knows this could have turned out very differently. In fact, it had the past few times he was released from prison. Before, he had relapsed as quickly as a matter of days — not only exposing himself to the risk of a deadly overdose but leading to a spiral of drug use that hindered just about every aspect of his life and, often, landed him in prison again.
The big difference: This time, he got treatment — real treatment — while he was in prison.
[For more on this story by German Lopez, go to https://www.vox.com/policy-and...edications-addiction]