When drug offenders are incarcerated they are not receiving proper rehabilitation for their addiction, which will lead to future offenses upon release. Programs offered by prison systems are not adequate to effectively treat patients as they are similar to outpatient treatment programs when more intensive rehabilitation is required. The prison systems have become increasingly overwhelmed by non-violent offenders serving sentences for drug related crimes who are likely to re-offend without adequate treatment. To house these prisoners versus a treatment substitution is at great costs to society.
No, incarceration should not be substituted with treatment for drug offenders, because drug offenders need to know that society disagrees with their actions. Treatment is seldom successful for drug offenders, and it is not society's job to fix them. Society only needs to have the laws enforced. Society does not need to fix everyone.