The Case against Forced Methadone Detox in the US Prisons

Public Health Ethics 12 (1):89-93 (2019)
Download Edit this record How to cite View on PhilPapers
Methadone maintenance therapy is a cost-effective, evidence-based treatment for heroin dependence. In the USA, a majority of heroin-dependent offenders are forced to detox from methadone when incarcerated. Recent research published in The Lancet has demonstrated the negative health and economic outcomes associated with such policies. Methadone Continuation Versus Forced Withdrawal on Incarceration in a Combined US Prison and Jail: A Randomised, Open Label Trial. The Lancet, 386, 350–359). This novel evidence raises questions as to the justification for current policies of forced detox in American prisons. Opponents of methadone provision in prisons might offer arguments from retributivism, resource allocation and curative effectiveness to justify their position. This article contends that these arguments do not stand up to ethical scrutiny. In light of this, we hold that American policymakers should reform criminal justice policies to allow the initiation and continuation of methadone treatment in correctional settings. This would be consistent with both international recommendations and the example set by a number of other Western countries.
No keywords specified (fix it)
PhilPapers/Archive ID
Revision history
Archival date: 2018-03-07
View upload history
References found in this work BETA
Punishment.Brooks, Thom

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

No citations found.

Add more citations

Added to PP index

Total views
51 ( #41,024 of 48,842 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
11 ( #42,626 of 48,842 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Downloads since first upload
This graph includes both downloads from PhilArchive and clicks to external links.