Wednesday, April 17, 2013

‘60 Dead Inmates’

Wednesday, Apr 17, 2013

Addiction can be fatal in San Diego County jails

Part three of ‘60 Dead Inmates’ explores substance abuse

By Kelly Davis

Since March 27, CityBeat's been taking a closer look at the 60 deaths that occurred in San Diego County jails between 2007 and 2012. Over that period, the county had the highest mortality rate of Californiaís 10 largest jail systems. Sisson's was one of 11 deaths in San Diego County jails in 2011. That year, only Los Angeles County recorded more deaths—19 total—and L.A.'s jail system is triple the size of San Diego's. 
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Alcohol withdrawal, experts say, can be deadly; cold-turkey withdrawal from opiates, on the other hand, is rarely life-threatening, unless an addict has an underlying medical condition—like asthma.

"Somebody who has some other disease, where the stress of withdrawal could make that disease worse, definitely deserves closer monitoring," says Marc Stern, a correctional-healthcare consultant and former health services director for the Washington State Department of Corrections. "So, if you know somebody has asthma, and they're going to go through withdrawal, yes, you have an obligation to monitor them more closely."

1 comment:

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