In Cincinnati, OH, a 25-year-old Jason Pittman, tragically died after an arrest landed him in jail during a heroin withdrawal episode. Pittman was jailed for failing to meet terms of his probation while suffering withdrawal symptoms. Pittman was taken into the jail on September 13th. His condition led to extreme dehydration, which ultimately took his life. He was rushed to the nearby Bethesda Arrow Springs hospital where he died on September 17th. Pittman is said to have experienced severe nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. These symptoms rendered him unable to eat or drink anything. The question remains: why was he denied proper treatment for these symptoms for over 3 days? The family was left with no answers as to why he never received treatment for his withdrawal symptoms, as these could have potentially saved his life.
Jason Pittman's mother has since brought forth a wrongful death lawsuit against the entities that failed to provide proper care for his symptoms. The defendants named include the Warren County Board of Commissioners, the sheriff, Correctional Healthcare Cos. as well as the doctor and nurses who were working at the jail.
The lawsuit makes claims of malpractice and negligence on the part of the caregivers that led to Mr. Pittman's death. The staff doctors and nurses had a duty to ensure that the health of the inmates was preserved while under their care. The family claims that failure to provide a need as basic as getting Pittman hydrated is a very clear breach of that duty, and Pittman is the one who paid the price. If he had been given proper treatment for the symptoms he was was expressing, he may have lived. Pittman needed either hospital care or better care from the medical staff at the jail and unfortunately was given neither.
Failure To Treat Withdrawal Symptoms
Unfortunately, Pittman's harrowing tale is just one of many that happen across jails and detention centers across the United States. According to a study by CASA, individuals currently suffering from substance abuse, or individuals that have had substance abuse histories make up about 85% of the current U.S. prison population. This also includes those who have committed crimes related to substance abuse, such as theft to fuel an addiction or violation of probation. The report then presented an alarming statistic. The study found that just 11% of inmates suffering from substance abuse and addiction related health issues actually receive the necessary treatment for their conditions.
Such a low statistic reveals one thing: individuals all over the country who need certain treatments for substance abuse or withdrawals may not be getting them. Such a terrible trend may, unfortunately, lead to more cases like Jason Pittman.