Investigation into Fatalities at Drug Treatment CentersNovember 2, 2018
After struggling with an opioid addiction, a 22-year-old single mother from Arizona checked herself into the Serenity Care Center in suburban Phoenix for treatment. According to her family, she wanted to get clean for her 2-year-old daughter. Unfortunately, she began showing signs of distress shortly after checking into the treatment center. She asked to be sent to the hospital that was less than one mile away, but staff denied her request. Within hours, she collapsed in her room and was rushed to the hospital where she was pronounced dead. This tragic death is just one example of instances where individuals suffering from drug and alcohol addiction died while under the care of a drug treatment center.
The opioid epidemic continues to wreak havoc on individuals, families, and communities across the country. According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, over 1.4 million people sought treatment for drug and alcohol addiction in 2015, and there were 3,362 addiction-related deaths. In the case of the young mother from Arizona, and autopsy revealed that the cause of death was “septic complications of acute bronchopneumonia in the setting of heroin toxicity.”
Another example involved a Southern California resident who had been battling an addiction to alcohol and benzodiazepene. Feeling desperate for help, he checked into A Better Tomorrow treatment center, where he was admitted as a patient. He was left unattended overnight, during which time he slashed his arm, neck, and check with a razor and bled to death. In Las Vegas, a young man checked himself into the Solutions Recovery House, hoping to receive treatment for his addiction. As part of the detoxification process, he was supposed to be under 24-hour monitoring. However, he was left in his room unsupervised for over 14 hours. Staff found his lifeless body the next morning.
How to Avoid Health Risks at Drug Treatment Facilities
According to industry officials, providers often try to sell their services to prospective patients rather than thoroughly examining them and developing a treatment plan based on their individual medical needs. In some cases, patients require treatment that they can only receive in a hospital setting, like suboxone, methadone, or other medications that help with the detoxification process. When choosing a treatment facility for yourself or a loved one, keep the following tips in mind:
- Do not choose a facility that uses aggressive sales tactics with their prospective patients.
- Avoid making a decision about a facility based solely on what you read about it online. Places that offer free treatment placement using a toll-free number are often not reputable facilities.
- Do not choose centers that offer free airfare, or other incentives.
- Use caution when considering a treatment center that does not have contracts with major insurance companies.
- Get a recommendation for a reputable treatment center from your physician, or other healthcare provider.
Patients who have been harmed or family members who have suffered the wrongful death of a loved one due to medical negligence are advised to seek experienced legal counsel. They may be entitled to compensation by filing a medical malpractice claim against the physician or treatment center responsible.
Baltimore Medical Malpractice Lawyers at LeViness, Tolzman & Hamilton Represent Victims of Negligence at Drug Treatment Centers
If you lost a loved one while he or she was a patient at a drug or alcohol treatment center, do not hesitate to contact the Baltimore medical malpractice lawyers at LeViness, Tolzman & Hamilton. Our experienced and compassionate legal team will investigate the circumstances of your tragic loss and take every step necessary to hold the responsible parties accountable for their actions. We will secure the maximum financial benefits you and your family deserve. To schedule a free, confidential consultation, call us today at 800-547-4LAW (4529) or contact us online.
Our offices are located in Baltimore, Columbia, Glen Burnie, and Towson, allowing us to represent medical malpractice victims in Maryland, including those in Anne Arundel County, Baltimore County, Carroll County, Harford County, Howard County, Montgomery County, Maryland’s Western Counties, Prince George’s County, Queen Anne’s County, Southern Maryland, and the Eastern Shore, as well as the communities of Catonsville, Essex, Halethorpe, Middle River, Rosedale, Gwynn Oak, Brooklandville, Dundalk, Pikesville, Nottingham, Windsor Mill, Lutherville, Timonium, Sparrows Point, Ridgewood, and Elkridge.