Alcohol and Drug Withdrawal in Custody Can Be Deadly
A person who is dependent on alcohol or drugs should never be forced to go "cold turkey" while in jail or prison without close medical supervision, monitoring, and treatment by trained personnel. Alcohol withdrawal while in custody — which often happens when someone suffering from alcohol dependence is locked up without warning — can be deadly. Likewise, drug withdrawal while in custody can lead to death, particularly when it involves withdrawal from benzodiazepine medications ("benzos") such as Xanax, Klonopin, Ativan, Valium, and their generic equivalents. The abrupt discontinuation of alcohol or certain drugs like Xanax can cause a variety of symptoms leading up to and including the very real risk of death. Unfortunately, corrections staff often ignore the serious symptoms associated with alcohol or drug withdrawal by isolating an inmate who is suffering from acute withdrawal. When corrections staff neglect inmates by being deliberately indifferent to such risks and fail to respond appropriately, they are violating the U.S. Constitution and could be held liable for wrongful death. At Calwell Luce diTrapano PLLC, we work with some of the nation's top medical and addiction specialists and experts in correctional medicine to hold jails and prisons accountable for negligence when wrongful death occurs in custody due to alcohol or drug withdrawal. We have successfully prosecuted cases on behalf individuals who have suffered injuries or death while in custody. We take pride in forcing correctional facilities to change and improve their responsiveness by instituting policies and procedures designed to avoid future tragedies. If you were seriously injured, or know someone who was seriously injured or died because they were a victim of alcohol or drug withdrawal, while in custody, please contact our Charleston, West Virginia, team of lawyers online or call 1-888-240-0144 to talk about your case. There is absolutely no cost or obligation to do so.