Drug / Alcohol Withdrawal

Drug/Alcohol Withdrawl In Prison or Jail

Drug and alcohol withdrawal in jail can be deadly. No individual who is dependent on drugs or alcohol should ever be forced to stop their addiction abruptly without close medical supervision, monitoring, and treatment by trained personnel.

Denying or failure to provide appropriate treatment and supervision to inmates is a violation of the U.S. Constitution.

While under the 8th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, prison officials are required to provide prisoners with “reasonably adequate” medical care, there are still many prisoners suffering on their own or with very little assistance.

According to the Federal Bureau of Prisons Clinical Guidance, substance use disorders are highly prevalent among inmate populations, affecting an estimated 30–60% of inmates. Drug intoxication and withdrawal may be particularly evident at the time of incarceration. The Bureau of Justice Statistics reports that an estimated 70% of all inmates in local jail facilities in the U.S. had committed a drug offense or used drugs regularly. An estimated 35% were under the influence of drugs at the time of the crime.

The safe and effective treatment of withdrawal syndromes requires that clinicians be alert to the possibility of substance dependence in all the new inmate arrivals at their institutions. Many may feel unsafe to be open and honest at first, caring about the fear of repercussions of substance use history.

Drug and Alcohol Withdrawal Syndrome in Jail/Prison

A careful patient history and physical examination by a clinician of the correctional facility is indicated for all inmates suspected of clinically significant drug/alcohol use:

  • An assessment should be made of the frequency of drug/alcohol use, length of time used, amount used, symptoms of withdrawal when use is decreased or discontinued, and the date and amount of alcohol last consumed.
  • If drug/alcohol use disorder is suspected, further inmate’s history investigation should be done.
  • Physical examination is necessary to evaluate the inmate for the conditions and assess vital signs, possible cardiac and lung disease, and neurologic and mental status.
  • Laboratory evaluation should include a complete blood count, comprehensive serum chemistry panel, urine toxicology (for medical reasons, not correctional), and a pregnancy test for women.

Minnesota Prisoner Rights

The reality is that withdrawal from alcohol, drugs, or prescription medications can be life-threatening, and jails and the medical staff who work for them must be alert to these issues.

It is crucial to have professional legal assistance while dealing with these complex cases. There is an immediate need for help with medical negligence issues resulting from drug and alcohol withdrawal in jail and prison. You or your loved one cannot wait.

You Legal Defense

If you or your loved one has been suffering or had life-alter consequences from drug/alcohol withdrawal while in jail/prison in Minnesota, contact the Law Zorislav R. Leyderman for a free consultation.

As a civil rights lawyer, Zorislav R. Leyderman has dedicated himself to protecting people who have suffered harassment, discrimination, and misconduct in their lives. Call 612-876-6626 today or email [email protected] for more information.