New Program Helps Prison Inmates Cope With Addiction

jail-addiction(KUTV) The Utah State Prison in Draper hosted a first of its kind event to give inmates a new high. 

Many who spend time behind bars get there as a result of addictive behaviors including drug and alcohol abuse. A program called Addict to 
Athlete is trying to change their mindset and give those involved a new way to feel on top of the world.

Early this morning, cheers were heard as inmates finished the nine laps needed around the prison yard to complete a 5K. 

The Draper Invitational has been in the works for months with inmates training for the event. All race entrants have two things in common: they call the prison home and are fighting addiction one step at a time. 

Addict to Athlete teaches inmates ways to cope with addiction by helping them focus on goals and offering a distraction from the things that hold them back.

“It’s the energy of recovery,” says Desmond Lomax, who runs the program. “There is something good about accomplishing something you don’t usually do. You face the resistance and go against things that are hard.” 

Setting small and achievable goals as well as meeting them are what counselors and coaches say will get these men back on track. This program is an alternative to traditional AA courses for those who deal better with team work and physical exertion instead of time in the classroom.

For the race’s 3.2 miles, Lomax said, these inmates felt free. Before the event, he advised racers to “embrace the normality. There is something wonderful about running, putting a sticker on your back and accomplishing something.” Article Link…

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