Reflecting back on the Symposium to Breaking the Silence, Mental Health Awareness last month. I came across a News Journal (Delaware Online) article by Esteban Para on May 11, 2014 called ‘Reflections Program’ that teaches reflection through coping and decision making skills. This is a story about a middle-aged man who is incarcerated after a repeated DUI Offense who participates in a Substance Abuse Program started by Connections at Sussex Correctional Institute. What is interesting is the DUI Offenders (name Hardin) heartfelt and honest answers about his addiction to Alcohol and his need to self-medicate to cope with every day life stressors and to have a good time. Hardin states, “Everything was better with alcohol and drugs.” Getting to the core of what catalyzed Hardin’s Substance Abuse by Reflecting on underlying trauma may be a step in the right direction to understand a repeat DUI offender’s underlying Mental Health Disorders. Society and the Public are battled in a fierce crisis on how low-level non-violent offenders with Substance Abuse are treated in the Court of Law. Since Substance Abuse is a Mental Health Disorder, why not have more Drug and Rehabilitative Centers as a diversion across the state? Should we as a society Decriminalize All Drugs in the U.S. and offer DUI and Poly Substance Abuse Offenders the option of jail time or rehabilitation treatment centers like in Portugal? Moreover, the Reflections Program helps DUI Offenders learn about safe driving, living a balanced life and seek safety. However, the 3-time DUI Offender, Hardin may also benefit from a Drug Treatment and Rehabilitative Program. The story does not mention whether Hardin harmed anyone while driving which would complicate matters on behalf of the courts and public safety matters. So much work to be done!

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