Author: Justin Mckibben
Drug addiction kills every day, in fact every hour over a dozen people in this country alone lose their lives to drugs or alcohol, and while the circumstances may vary the outcome is always the same- devastated families and friends with far too many questions unanswered and plenty of pain to go around. An overdose death rate outbreak has swept across America with a consistent escalation over the past few years, and a lot of addicts dying from withdrawal symptoms perish without the help they desperately needed… even in police custody.
These deaths by withdrawals in police custody have been reported time and time again in recent years, all alongside the soaring statistics of opiate abuse and drug overdose deaths, with many families speaking out against what they feel is the neglect that caused these deaths.
My intention here is to highlight a handful of these incidents and bring awareness to the issue, because the significance of these life-threatening circumstances should never be overlooked, and all law enforcement agencies should be willing to protect and preserve life, even the lives of drug addicts.
$1.2 Million Withdrawal Death Case
Years ago in 2013 a federal lawsuit from a case in Adrian, Michigan closed on a settlement for some big money. This suit was concerning a woman who died from alcohol withdrawal while in county jail, and the U.S. District Court of Detroit approved to give her family $1.2 million dollars.
Back in 2007 Brenda Sue Smith was arrested on a parole violation. Smith had a history of alcohol abuse, and while in the Lenawee County lock-up she began to hallucinate and experience debilitating tremors. The case presented by the family contended that jail officials refused medical treatment for three days until Smith collapsed and lost consciousness, dying shortly afterwards at the hospital from what was described as alcohol-withdrawal and respiratory failure.
Michigan Man Dies in Mental Health Unit
September 2015- David Stojcevsk was sent to jail for reckless driving after being unable to pay $700 plus fine, and ended up dying in police custody. First Stojcevski was sent to the Macombfor County Jail in Mt Clemens, Michigan for 30 days because he could not afford to pay, where we deteriorated and died due to severe neglect.
Early accounts of the incident claim that Stojcevski lost an astonishing 50 pounds in just 17 days in police custody. His family filed a lawsuit which indicated his doctor had prescribed him a list of medications to help him cope with his withdrawals while trying to detox from illicit drug abuse, including prescriptions for:
Stojcevski was placed in a mental health jail unit with increased monitoring of inmates; he was even on suicide watch with a camera in his cell. Supposedly for his own safety the jail officials stripped him of his clothes, but without his medication he was not safe at all, and his cause of death was eventually ruled as ‘acute withdrawal from medications’.
Dr. Frank McGeorge, who is a medical custody expert, stated in relation to this story,
“There is no reason for an incarcerated person who was watched for this period of time to die in custody, he should have had medical attention… people do not die from withdrawal all the time, they die from withdrawal when there is neglect associated with it.”
Even under surveillance cameras and what was supposed to be periodic check-ups, Stojcevski died naked on a concrete floor in police custody.
21 Year Old Dead in DuPage County
February of 2016 the body of 21-year-old Sebastiano Ceraulo was found inside the DuPage County jail, dead in police custody. The young man’s father Totuccio Ceraulo, of unincorporated DuPage County near Lombard, filed a federal lawsuit Monday against the DuPage County jailers alleging that they ignored his son’s signs of violent heroin withdrawal and allowed him to die as a result of neglect.
According to the lawsuit, the jail staff should have known about Ceraulo’s heroin addiction based on previous arrests.
Court records indicate that Sebastiano Ceraulo was taken into custody January 4, after Judge George Bakalis revoked his bail for violating terms of his probation. The violation was the result of a positive drug test after several missed tests.
According to the suit, 21 year old Ceraulo died in custody January 7 as a result of electrolyte imbalance and dehydration, which are both common and dangerous symptoms of heroin withdrawal. However, DuPage County Coroner Richard Jorgensen said his office is still awaiting toxicology reports and records before rendering an opinion on the cause of death in this case.
The big issue I take with these stories and the reason I’m writing about it today is that these are far from a collection of isolated incidents. Deaths in police custody like this occur almost every single day, and apparently no matter how much money is tallied in the lawsuits it doesn’t do not do much to prevent addicts who are arrested from being neglected and allowed to die all over America from withdrawals which are absolutely treatable. These deaths and others like them all over the nation that are still happening are completely avoidable! So what’s it going to take to prevent these terrible tragedies from continuing to occur within the confines of a system that was supposed to be designed to protect and preserve life and justice?
While it is true that some situations have extreme circumstances which cause these tragedies, it is still troubling to see and concerning that not enough has been done to negate this kind of neglect.
Withdrawal symptoms are nothing to be taken lightly, and without proper medical detox a lot of people find themselves in critically hazardous conditions, but there is help out there. Every day Palm Partners works hard to provide quality care with compassionate and comprehensive medical detox and drug treatment. If you or someone you love is struggling with substance abuse or addiction, please call toll-free 1-800-951-6135
The Polar Vortex has struck again and Buffalo, NY is the first to suffer the onslaught of snow and below-freezing temperatures. This can make for an even more miserable situation for those who are struggling with substance abuse and addiction issues. Drug and alcohol treatment in Buffalo, NY is a great place to start when you want to improve your current condition.
But why stop there? Many people actually choose to leave their home state when seeking help for their drug and alcohol problems. In fact, Florida is a main destination for people seeking comfort and shelter from the storm – both in the literal and figurative sense.
South Florida offers warm climates, sunshine, and miles upon miles of relaxing beaches – an ideal backdrop for healing from addiction and substance abuse.
If you are intent on staying in your hometown, though, here’s the rundown on drug and alcohol treatment in Buffalo, NY.
Drug and Alcohol Treatment in Buffalo, NY: How It Works
Drug and alcohol treatment in Buffalo, NY is a medical and residential program that specializes in helping you get off drugs and alcohol. A medical staff monitors you and administers medicine to alleviate your withdrawal symptoms so that your detox and recovery are safe and comfortable.
Drug and Alcohol Treatment in Buffalo, NY: Alcohol Detox
If you are dependent on alcohol, you will require the help that the drug and alcohol treatment in Buffalo, NY can offer. It’s not safe to go “cold turkey,” suddenly stopping your drinking. The staff at the drug and alcohol treatment in Buffalo, NY is trained to help and administer certain medications in order to ease your withdrawal symptoms.
Alcohol withdrawal syndrome is a medical condition that results when you stop drinking once you are physically dependent on alcohol. The withdrawal symptoms from alcohol dependence can range in severity, from mild such as insomnia and anxiety to severe and life-threatening, such as convulsions, which can lead to death. Alcohol withdrawal syndrome can cause seizures, delirium tremens, also known as “the shakes,” anxiety, panic attacks, and paranoia.
Drug and Alcohol Treatment in Buffalo: Drug Detox
The withdrawal symptoms from alcohol and other drugs can be extremely uncomfortable, even painful, psychologically disturbing and can result in death. So much so that, many people in your situation say that the biggest obstacle to their recovery is their fear of withdrawal symptoms. The staff at drug and alcohol treatment in Buffalo, NY can address your withdrawal symptoms from a number of different drugs, not just alcohol.
If you are using opiates, such as the prescription painkillers oxycodone, hydrocodone, methadone or heroin, the withdrawals aren’t life-threatening however, in some cases, people have experienced seizures when they stopped on their own. Drug and alcohol treatment in Buffalo, NY program can help alleviate your withdrawal symptoms and you will be able to manage them much more comfortably.
If you are dependent on benzos, such as Xanax or Valium, or barbiturates then a medical drug detox is necessary. Just like with alcohol withdrawal syndrome, benzo withdrawal syndrome is potentially fatal. Severe symptoms are seizure, heart failure, stroke, coma, and death.
If you are addicted to amphetamines, such as cocaine and crack, and methamphetamine, such as crystal meth, the withdrawals include uncomfortable and frightening psychological symptoms such as hallucinations and extreme paranoia. Drug and alcohol treatment in Buffalo, NY are equipped for treating these symptoms as well.
Drug and Alcohol Treatment in Buffalo: Rehab
After detox, which may last from 4 to 10 days depending on your progress, you will enter the next level of the program offered at drug and alcohol treatment in Buffalo, NY. A detox program is not enough, on its own.
Real recovery begins with the residential inpatient rehabilitation level of treatment, called “rehab” for short. This can last up to 30 days, which really is only a drop in the bucket compared to a lifetime. At the rehab level, you will reside in a safe and comfortable environment where all of your needs will be met.
You will be kept comfortable, have case management support, and will have medical services provided. You will attend meetings, called groups, where you will learn about substance abuse and be given the tools to use once you complete the program so that you don’t get caught up in drugs and alcohol again. You will also have group and individual therapy sessions where you can address any dual diagnosis, or co-occurring issues such as depression, anxiety, as well as trauma-related issues.
If you or a loved one is struggling with substance abuse or addiction and are looking for drug and alcohol treatment in Buffalo, NY please call toll-free 1-800-951-6135 to speak directly with a live person – an Addiction Specialist – who can answer your questions, day or night. Now is the time.
Drug withdrawal symptoms are what many addicts and alcoholics fear most. They feel like your body is screaming at you to get it what it needs, which is the substance! And in a way, that is exactly what your body is doing. Drug withdrawal symptoms occur because your brain works a lot like a kind of spring when it comes to addiction. Drug and alcohol are brain depressants that push down the spring and suppress the production of neurotransmitters like noradrenaline.
When you stop using drugs and alcohol, all the weight comes off the spring, and your brain rebounds by producing a surge of adrenaline that can cause drug withdrawal symptoms. Not only that, but your brain used to produce “feel good” chemicals on its own but since you have been giving it synthetic feel good chemicals it has become lazy and doesn’t make them anymore. So when you stop giving it synthetic feel good chemicals, it takes a minute for your brain to wake up and start making them again, and it isn’t very happy to do so initially.
Drug Withdrawal Symptoms are not created equal
Every drug is different. Some drugs produce severe physical drug withdrawal symptoms and severe emotional drug withdrawal symptoms. These drugs are the usually the most feared by addicts to stop. They are alcohol, opiates and tranquilizers such as valium and Xanax. Other drugs that produce less severe physical withdrawal symptoms, but still have an emotional withdrawal are cocaine, marijuana and ecstasy. Every person’s experience with drug withdrawal symptoms is a little different. For instance, you may experience little physical drug withdrawal compared to the person with you in drug detox. This is because drug withdrawal symptoms are dependent on how much, how long and the individual person.
What are the emotional drug withdrawal symptoms?
- Poor concentration
- Social isolation
What are the physical withdrawal symptoms?
- Racing heart
- Muscle tension
- Tightness in the chest
- Difficulty breathing
- Nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea
Some drug withdrawal symptoms are dangerous and could potentially be fatal. These drug withdrawal symptoms are usually associated with the use of alcohol and tranquilizers. Suddenly stopping alcohol or benzodiazepines can lead to seizures, strokes, and heart attacks in high risk patients. A medically supervised detox is highly recommended for anyone who is addicted to alcohol or benzos because a medically supervised drug detox can reduce the risk and dangers of the drug withdrawal. Some of the dangerous drug withdrawal symptoms associated with alcohol and benzos are:
- Grand mal seizures
- Heart attacks
- Delirium tremens (DTs)
But what about opiates?
Drug withdrawal symptoms from opiates such as heroin, OxyContin, and morphine are extremely uncomfortable, no doubt, but they aren’t fatally dangerous unless they are mixed with other drugs. Heroin withdrawal on its own, by itself, does not produce seizures, heart attacks, strokes or delirium tremens. A medical drug detox is not a necessity for opiate withdrawal but it is still highly recommended. A medical drug detox can help ease almost all of the discomfort due to the drug withdrawal symptoms. If you are in need of a medical detox, Palm Partners Treatment Center can help. Contact us today at 800-951-6135.
Medical detoxification is important to a drug addict or alcoholics long-term recovery. Medical detoxification is literally defined as the intervention of controlling drug and alcohol use and withdrawal. Medical detoxification is different than drug withdrawal in the sense that the medical detoxification is meant to help control and give comfort for any withdrawal symptoms a user may be experiencing due to the cessation of their drug and alcohol use. Although medical detoxification is important to long-term recovery – detox does not always deal with the psychological, social or behavioral aspects of addiction and alcoholism. This aspect varies from drug detox to drug detox. Regardless, medical detoxification deals more so with the physical modality of removing toxins from a user’s body in order to give them the jump start to their physical health which is imperative to continuing on with their mental, behavioral and psychological sobriety.
Due to the various withdrawal symptoms a person may experience while detoxing, there are set guidelines followed for all patients admitted into a medical detoxification center. When a user first enters a medical detox center they will be given an evaluation by the clinicians. The clinician will go over what drugs the user was involved with, how much of these drugs the user was using, and how the user was going about using the drugs. The evaluation will also include a drug test to acquire the level of toxins, drugs and alcohol is in a user’s body. This will allow the clinicians to determine if medication is needed in the medical detoxification process. It will also allow the clinicians to be medically safe in the distribution of medication, if any medication at all is needed. Usually some kind of medication will be given during a medical detox to help with the discomfort of any withdrawal symptoms. The clinicians will then conduct a background and history check with the client. This will allow the clinicians at the medical detox to determine if behavioral and psychological issues exist and if a dual diagnosis is appropriate. If the medical detoxification also deals with mental health issues this will allow the medical detox to give a user the appropriate medication to also help them deal with any kind of depression, anxiety, or trauma effectively.
The second step in a medical detoxification is stabilization of the client. Stabilization is a process that takes time. Stabilization at a medical detox means that the client is no longer at risk of any health problems due to withdrawal symptoms, the drugs and alcohol have been removed, and the appropriate medication has been taken, prescribed or completed. How much time it takes a user to become stable during their stay at a medical detox varies depending on what kind of drugs or alcohol and how much of each the client was using. During this stabilization period in medical detox the client will be given the medication found appropriate or needed based on what drugs and alcohol they were using. This will give the client comfort during their medical detoxification: which is important to their long-term recovery.
As the toxins begin to leave the client’s mind and body the clinicians will begin describing to them what to expect in the near future after medical detoxification is complete. Medical detoxification is the first step in the treatment of alcohol and substance abuse. Recovery is a journey not a destination and the clinicians are there to emphasize what the client needs to do after medical detoxification so they never have to experience the pain and discomfort of withdrawal symptoms again. Once the stabilization period of a medical detox has ended the client is now safely and medically detox’d. Medical detoxification is important to long term recovery and is one of the first steps towards living in sobriety. Going through a medical detoxification doesn’t not make someone “healed” from drug and alcohol abuse. It doesn’t mean that the person won’t relapse or won’t have urges to “use” again. Many addicts still feel the urges to “use” due to the lasting side effects of some drugs. Medical detoxification is important to long-term recovery because it stabilizes a person in order for rehabilitation to take place. Detox removes all the drugs and alcohol from the body but drug and alcohol treatment is where the rehabilitation begins. The client can now move on to a focused long-term treatment program that is specialized to their needs.
Detox Center in Florida
By Jenny Hunt, Palm Partners Recovery Center
March 2, 2012
Drug detoxification is the process of eliminating all traces of drugs or alcohol from the body. Because stoppage of any drug, including alcohol, can trigger often severe side effects as well as intense cravings, the withdrawal phase of recovery is often unpleasant and dreaded enough to prevent many substance abusers from seeking treatment. A drug detox center in Florida uses a variety of procedures to lessen the symptoms of withdrawal from drugs and alcohol. Medical professionals will insure that the detox process is safe and comfortable.
Detoxing from drugs and alcohol can be very dangerous if it is not overseen by a medical professional. The withdrawal process can be extremely uncomfortable, and this causes many an alcoholic or drug addict to relapse during this phase. Also, withdrawal from some drugs can cause serious health complications, even death. A detox center in Florida will monitor you around the clock to prevent any serious or life threatening withdrawal complications.
Alcohol is one of the most dangerous drugs to detox from. Alcohol withdrawal syndrome is a cluster of symptoms observed in persons who stop drinking alcohol following continuous and heavy consumption. These symptoms can include tremors, nausea, seizures, and death. The staff at a detox center in Florida is well aware of these risks, and can administer medications to counteract alcohol withdrawal syndrome.
A drug detox center in Florida will strive to make you comfortable during the withdrawal stage. Effective detoxification programs offer a rounded course of treatment, from medications designed to ease the body’s cravings, to counseling to understand the root causes of the addiction, to behavior modification and self-transformation. Often, a detox center in Florida will offer holistic healing to ease the pain of withdrawal. Gourmet food, massage, and acupuncture are just a few of the services that can be administered at a detox center in Florida.
When you arrive at a detox center in Florida, the staff will evaluate your needs. It is important to be completely honest with the medical professionals at a detox center in Florida about your drug and alcohol use. They will need to know how much you used or drank, what types of drugs you used, how much you used, and your medical history. The drug detox center in Florida will need to know all the details of your use so that they can design a detox treatment plan that is just right for you.
The next phase of the process at a detox center in Florida is stabilization. With the right medications, holistic therapy, and support, the detox process is made safe and comfortable for the patient. Often, after the stabilization phase, a detox center in Florida will recommend a drug rehabilitation center. As drug detoxification only deals with the physical dependency and addiction to drugs, it does not address the psychological aspects of drug addiction. The drug rehabilitation center is the vital next step in the recovery after the drug detox in Florida.
If you or someone you know needs a detox center in Florida call us at 800-951-6135 or visit us online at www.palmpartners.com.