Addiction: Does Scaring The Addict Straight Work?


Before and After Drugs (Meth) via

Addiction: Does Scaring The Addict Straight Work?

        The above video is called Faces of Meth, it is intended to show people the effects of Meth Amphetamines in an effort to discourage them from using.  It was produced by , which has many centers listed on their website as well as many articles to help those dealing with addiction. As I watched the video I was reminded of a program called Scared Straight, where juveniles were taken into a jail for one day to live out the real life scenario of being incarcerated. The program was somewhat effective as it turned many of the participants around. The program was stopped as many felt that it was cruel and unusual to subject 13-18 year olds to the prison environment. This made me think Does Scaring someone Straight Work? The answer is yes for some as they can see that their choices are leading them down a poor path and the consequences are not worth it.

    The harsh reality is that continued drug involvement leads to 2 places a grave or a jail cell. I look at all the stories at about the kids who are addicted and those that have died or those who are serving time or have served time and think what can be done to quell the tide of addiction that is drowning our country?  Is the answer scaring the addict straight?  The stories of recovery and success all have one thing in common and that is the addict made the decision to get help and stop using. Many of those in recovery say they finally got to the point that they were afraid they would die or end up in prison. Some in recovery stated they had had enough and knew there was a better life meant for them.

 When I was a U.S. Peace Corps Volunteer in The Philippines from July 2002- February 2003 I was assigned to a Regional Rehabilitation Center For Youth in Buang, La Union to work with the boys and to teach English, Math, and livelihood Skills. Many of the boys were involved in crimes that were drug and alcohol related. As someone who stopped drinking alcohol at age 27 I was able to help many of the boys just by talking to them and shifting their belief system. For some of the boys it took a harder approach of scaring them straight and getting real and not worrying of they were going to like what I had to say or not. Many times it was when I gave the boys the harsh reality of where they would end up if they didn’t change that they truly began to make better choices. It is through understanding with a bit of tough love that many of the boys succeeded returned to school and got jobs.  So again to answer does scaring and addict straight work I must answer yes for some. Every case is different and what may work for your child may not work for others.  When deciding whether or not to scare your addict straight think of  all the possibilities and then go with you gut and do what you feel is right. Whatever you decide own your decision and do not beat yourself up about it as it was not you that caused all of the problems that the addict is facing.It was the addict that chose to use not you, It was the addict that may have stolen not you. Most of the times it is the addict that is scared straight and decides to stay on the path of recovery.

Beyond Scared Straight_”Oklahoma County, OK”… by 1BadboyMMA


    The above is a 43 minute video about The Scared Straight Program, it may not be suitable for all audiences as it contains  questionable language and  adult situations.

 This is Nikki Sixx who overcame a heroin addiction and now shares his story to help others.

In many cases it is sharing stories of hope that may get the addict on the path to recovery and to stay on recovery. The question will remain Does Scaring The Addict Straight Work? All feedback is welcomed and encouraged.

Programs like the one in Sarasota give hope that addicts can recover and become productive members of society.

This film was done in 1951 and here we are 61 years later and addiction is still a major health issue in our country.

Making an addict to see where their choices are leading is the most difficult thing to do as the addict may not realize the decisions he or she is making. The last resort for many families is to scare the addict straight.







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