Can you be sued for what you don’t know? Absolutely. In today’s society, a working professional can be held responsible for key knowledge affecting one’s ability to perform job functions. In DuPage County, Illinois, jailers on duty when a young man died from possible heroin withdrawal are facing litigation. North Peoria, Illinois police should be educated on the signs of drug withdrawal.
Drug withdrawal symptoms may occur after a single use, but are likely to be worse in those who have a prolonged history of drug abuse. Withdrawal stems from physical and psychological dependence. Drug use creates nutritional deficiencies, brain alterations, and chemical dependency in organ function. Frequent drug use exacerbates these effects. When an individual is having drug withdrawals, they should immediately be sent to the ER in case but as soon as they are physically okay, they then need to start as an inpatient at a substance addiction North Peoria center.
Symptoms of withdrawal
Symptoms of withdrawal vary greatly, dependent upon such variables as the substance withdrawn from and the physical health of the user. Initial withdrawal symptoms may resemble mild illness: body aches, runny nose, irritability, and headache, easily overlooked to the untrained eye.
Further withdrawal may produce bloating, vomiting and/or diarrhea. Such symptoms could also resemble illness. Addicts are unlikely to admit to drug use, and may even verbally agree they “just don’t feel well,” to avoid incrimination while in custody.
In severe cases, withdrawal can lead to organ damage and even death. Medical professionals are trained to diagnose such conditions, and in the event that an addict is receiving competent medical care, such severe withdrawal symptoms can be counteracted.
Necessity of training
Police officers, while trained as emergency responders, are not trained, medical professionals. Failure to “diagnose” withdrawal is not the problem since medical diagnoses lie outside of professional responsibility. Just as police officers must know the law, but are not lawyers, officers should recognize the signs of withdrawal and be able to make an informed referral to medical personnel.
Though statistics on drug use and crime vary, in 1998 The New York Times reported that 4 out of 5 inmates linked alcohol or drug use to their incarceration. With 80% of those incarcerated having alcohol abuse or drug use as a major contributing factor, it stands to reason that many arrests involve individuals currently on a drug (and likely to experience withdrawal). These individuals getting arrested for drugs and alcohol should serve some time as an inpatient at a drug rehab in North Peoria in order to overcome their addiction and then serve time in prison if they must.
Not just to avoid liability, but also to care for individuals currently addicted to drugs or alcohol, North Peoria police should be trained in the signs of drug addiction and withdrawal. In the event of a drug-related arrest, of course police may suspect substance abuse on the part of the individual. If a police officer sees an individual going through this, they need to refer them or bring them into a drug rehab North Peoria and this is how they can serve and protect their community more. However, even in seemingly unrelated crimes, police need to be trained and prepared to better serve and protect.