Rebuttal Essay – Tabitha Corrao

What Makes DTAP So Successful

As an act to clean up the streets across American, states like New York, are now funding money to a program called Drug Treatment Alternative to Prison Program (DTAP). The mission of the Drug Treatment Alternative to Prison Program is to give drug offenders, such as drug abusers, an alternative to prison by giving drug abusers an alterative to go into a drug rehabilitation center. States are hoping that by giving drug offenders another alternative they will not only put drug dealers out of business, ultimately lowering crime rate but also save the state money. The states hope to save money by paying for helpful inexpensive rehab rather than jail time, where drug offenders receive no help with their problems.

The mission of DTAP (Drug Treatment Alterative to Prison Programs) seems like the perfect plan to clean up streets but not everyone believes in the plan. Someone might have doubts in the program because it is said that drug rehabs do not always work for everyone. According to the Treatment Episode Data Set in 2008, 1,626,740 people were checked into some type of Substance Abuse Treatment Service. Of those 1,626,740 people about 38% were discharged because they dropped out of treatment, had treatment terminated by the facility, were incarcerated or failed to complete treatment for other reasons. That is about 618,161 people who did not complete rehabilitation in the year 2008.

With that being said, should someone’s future be determined based off previously collected statics? What I mean here is, should a current drug offender be withheld different alteratives based only on success and failure rates alone.  According to, “Studies show that the success of one’s recovery is determined not only by the type of drug rehab program they attend, but the amount of effort put into applying what is learned in treatment when returning home…” In other words success rates can not be determined based on statics. One could argue that not every person puts the same amount of effort into treatment center.

Another argument someone could argue is that DTAP participants are more likely complete treatment because they are in treatment longer than those who are in long-term residential treatments. According to The National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse, “DTAP participants remain in treatment six times longer than individuals in other long-term residential treatment (a median of 17.8 months compared to three months).” These rates are important because an individual who stays in treatment long has a better chance of staying sober.

In addition to the argument Joseph A. Califano, Jr., CASA president and former U.S. Secretary of Health stated “This program in which failure is a one-way ticket to prison shows the effectiveness of coerced treatment,” What Joseph A. Califano means is success rates are more higher among people who are threaten to go to jail if they fail as to someone who puts themselves in treatment. Someone can argue that the pressure of success in DTAPs’ is so strong that it actually helps a person succeed a healthy drug free lifestyle.

All in all, drug offenders should not be withheld alternatives based on success and failure rates alone. DTAP was designed to steer drug abusers into a healthy drug free lifestyles. Safety precautions, such as making the treatment longer and making failure feared, helps make DTAP become so successful.


Drug Rehab Alcohol Drug Rehabilitation Addiction Treatment Programs. National Drug and Alcohol Abuse Helpline, 2002. Web. 02 Apr. 2012.

Press Releases:.” News Room: INNOVATIVE DRUG TREATMENT ALTERNATIVE TO PRISON PROGRAM REDUCES CRIME, PRISON COSTS. The National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse at Columbia University, 2003. Web. 02 Apr. 2012.

“TEDS 2008 Discharge Report, Highlights.” SAMHSA. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, 19 Apr. 2011. Web. 02 Apr. 2012.


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