RABUN COUNTY, Ga – Prime for Life Drug Treatment, a substance abuse rehabilitation course, graduated its sixth class of 10 Rabun County Detention Center (RCDC) inmates at the courthouse on Nov. 18, 2019.
Prime for Life is directed by local resident Howard Dowdle, who runs a 20-hour program. based on the Lifestyle Risk Reduction Model, the Transtheoretical Model, and Persuasion theory. It’s designed to change inmates’ perceptions of drugs and alcohol use.
In the Nov. 2019 graduating class, 10 women completed the self-motivated course that presents high-risk situations for former addicts and how to avoid them. The course also uses logical reasoning and emotional response to change previous behavior. Dowdle relies on empathy and collaboration to help students understand the value of life and motivate change in behavior.
Rabun County Sheriff Chad Nichols commended the women’s dedication and Dowdle’s efforts, “As I have said previously, we will continue to aggressively pursue incarcerating drug dealers that target our community, but as your sheriff, I will continue to look for ways to provide services to our inmates which will hopefully keep them from making poor decisions that have led to them becoming incarcerated to begin with.”
Prime for Life differs from typical drug treatment programs, which typically are court-ordered, occur over long periods of time, and participants are guided in assessing their levels of dependency and progress. Dowdle’s course gives individuals a choice and the course is self-directed; they work through the course on their own. Prime for Life capitalizes on the power of positivity to affect change in people’s lives by framing scenarios to help participants see the value in a drug-free life.
Approximately 80 to 85 percent of the RCDC population suffers from substance abuse problems and Sheriff Nichols hopes Prime for Life will cut down on repeat offenders throughout the county.
He said, “Providing this course gives inmates another tool in their toolbox that they can use to fight their addiction once they are released back into the community.”
The program has been active in the RCDC since 2018.
Rabun County Sheriff’s Office would also like to thank the Presbyterian Women and their current moderator, Miriam Risher, for supporting this program by purchasing the workbooks for the inmates.