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Reentry

Zig Ziglar on

All is not lost when someone ends up behind bars -- especially if he or she is incarcerated in a North Carolina facility where Prison Fellowship teaches a course called Reentry Life Plan. Reentry teaches the benefits of a character foundation, a good, strong work ethic, relationship skills, goal-setting, a winning attitude, and so on.

Results: The recidivism rate in North Carolina is slightly over 40%, but in the facilities where the Reentry Life Plan is taught the recidivism rate is 6%. Everyone wins with this approach. Incidentally, in most cases, the men and women involved were "habilitated" -- not rehabilitated. They had never been taught the qualities necessary for success, so they bought the "the world owes me a living" mentality and ended up behind bars.

Question: Suppose the alcoholics, drug addicts and lawbreakers don't want to be "habilitated" or cooperate and be motivated? Answer: Actually, most of them, despite what they say, know that drug or alcohol addiction and antisocial behavior (crime and violence) are roads to disaster.

According to drug authority and brain chemistry expert Dr. Forest Tennant, there are some drug rehabilitation programs that work even if the individual doesn't believe in them. The addict often doesn't want to participate and resists going for treatment because he or she "doesn't have a problem" (denial) or they "can handle it." Many drug addicts/criminals have to be forced by law or strong parents to go into treatment.

However, one reason even "forced" treatment works is because the addict or lawbreaker knows that the person or law requiring them to take the treatment is concerned about him or her. Everyone wants to be loved and appreciated, and while they might protest or rebel, deep down they're saying, "I'm glad my parents love me enough to force me to do what is best for me."

 

The physical action of being in treatment, hearing things that make sense and watching the progress of others who are in the program motivates individuals to recognize their own problem and gives them hope that they can be helped. The treatment centers have properly identified the drug addicts' "hot buttons." When addicts physically see the benefits of being drug-free, they recognize that progress in that direction would be in their best interest. Each bit of progress brings additional hope, and the hope breeds more action. Point: Outside influence in the form of a forced physical action brings benefits which "motivate" addicts to continue treatment so their benefits will continue. Once the problem is solved and rehabilitation is complete, the abuser should maintain a healthy "fear" and understanding of the power of addiction. The motivation now should be to develop a game plan for staying drug-free and maintaining behavior that will keep them out of prison when they are released.

Actually, the steps are few and simple, but not easy. First, addicts must recognize that they are better off drug-free, and they must also commit to staying drug-free. Second, they must take steps to make certain they don't fall back into the trap of addiction. Third, they must avoid any association with the former "friends" or associates who were part of the drug/law-breaking society and have nothing to do with them -- no personal, phone, mail or computer contact. This will be difficult, because they might labor under the illusion that they are their "friends." Wrong. The Bible says, "be not deceived, evil companions corrupt good morals." Fourth, they should establish a set routine. Go to bed, get up and eat all meals on a schedule. Fifth, they should exercise regularly and join an organization that teaches ethical, moral values, such as a church or scout program. Scouting programs do a superb job of getting youngsters on the right track and keeping them there.

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To find out more about Zig Ziglar and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate webpage at www.creators.com. Subscribe to Zig Ziglar's free email newsletter through ziglar.com.

 

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