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General Health Care Prison Health Care.. Medical, medications and all that go with it related to health care in the prison system...

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Old 09-26-2005, 02:32 PM
S.Q.Sunny S.Q.Sunny is offline
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Default Forced Methadone Withdrawal

I can use any info or advice anyone can give - please! I just found out that San Quentin S.P. Health Care Drs. have been told by the State to have everyone off of Methadone within 7 days (started last Friday) - no exceptions! Doesn't matter how high the dose currently is, or health complications - just do it! The good Dr. says his hands are tied on this.

SQ has gotten many a DR inmate (at the least) addicted to the stuff, some for years, by giving it for everything that ails ya'. Now, suddenly, very fast detox for all, and no answers being given to anyone. Started Friday with no Methadone given out at all, which is when they were told of new policy. Cutbacks are severe and fast - too fast! My man was already being weaned off it at his request, but now, this is too much - has been taken to hospital Sat, Sun, and Mon. (today) with chest pains and unable to breathe! Dr. is sorry but can't do anything to slow down schedule or anything else to help anyone. How can this be? I thought CA prison health care was taken over by feds to make it better?

I don't know squat about Methadone withdrawal personally, but from what I've read and seen so far, this is very dangerous idea to do to all these men - and mine, having heart trouble, could end up dead! Even the Dr. doesn't think it's being done in good way, but helpless to help, change rate of withdrawal, etc. How many inmates will have heart attacks? How many will die from this horrible new CA policy?

Does anyone here have any helpful ideas? I am no relation to my guy so cannot even get any answers myself from medical staff about this! Who to contact? Who can help? (It started on Friday - though may be official only today when Drs. could be seen - it was packed in there!) Can't something be done about this before we have more deaths on our hands? I would assume if it is state mandated policy, then it'd be in all state prisons in CA, but I only know for sure that it's DR on SQ, so being conservative and just saying that. I am so new to all this stuff that haven't a clue where to go or what to do to get help - don't get answers from SQ though! Thanks for any help........
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Old 09-27-2005, 03:13 AM
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Doc's Sis Doc's Sis is offline
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Has he kept in touch with immediate family members? If so, one of them could call the prison = if they are on his approved visitor list. Remember that with the new HIPPA laws, even immediate family members may not be able to get all details unless the inmate signs a form giving his approval.

If he was taken to the hospital, that's good. At the hospital, they will give him something to help - so please don't get too too upset.

With many meds, it isn't a good idea to quit 'cold turkey' because of the side effects as you stated. If the new rule is to get all inmates off a particular med in a certain amount of time and they are suffering from side effects, I'd hope that they also would be sent to the hospital where they can be properly weaned off of that med. One can only hope and pray.

Hope you hear something soon and that it's good news!
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Old 11-03-2005, 11:41 PM
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brainiac brainiac is offline
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Though Methadone withdrawal is painful, it typically is not fatal. The side effects are miserable, but not fatal. Perhaps they will give them clonidine or Librium to help with some of them, but coming off of high doses of Methadone is not fun. This is why I really dont like Methadone treatment for Heroin Addiction, of course my opinions arent important. I wish all of them the best of luck, and will keep them in my prayers.
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