Finally asking for help when you are struggling with addiction is so difficult to do. Still, it seems that the treatment centers created specifically to help are sometimes putting their patients in harm’s way instead.
According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, there were 1.4 million people seeking treatment for drug or alcohol addiction in 2015. Of those patients, 3,362 deaths were recorded. In California’s residential treatment centers, there were 150 deaths recorded between 2014 and 2018.
Neglect and abuse are, unfortunately, sometimes a factor in these incidents. Types of neglect that may happen in a treatment center include:
- Unsafe premises
- Inadequate medical help
- Unclean facilities
- Insufficiently trained or supervised staff
- Inadequate patient supervision
While going through the detox process, patients are especially vulnerable to medical emergencies. When these centers don’t recognize that and act accordingly, disastrous results may follow.
USA Today reports the case of Madison Cross, who checked herself into the Serenity Care Center to detox from opioid addiction. Tragically, Cross passed away shortly after arriving. Staff reported recognizing signs of distress, including wheezing, crackly lungs and a yellow and blue complexion. She was given several medications but was not taken to the local hospital. She died of acute bronchopneumonia septic complications.
While treatment centers do provide a wider range of access to care, there have also been many cases of abuse and neglect. It seems that while many promise safety for their clients, the organizations are not always delivering.