Substance use disorders have become a national epidemic. The National Survey on Drug Use and Health estimated 20.7 million people needed substance use treatment in 2017. A drug detoxification or rehabilitation program could be critical for someone with a drug dependency. Unfortunately, drug rehab center abuse, patient mistreatment, drug-testing mills, and healthcare fraud are destroying patients’ chances for recovery.
If you or someone you love has suffered abuse at a rehab center in Illinois, contact the attorneys at Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers LLC for a free consultation. Our drug rehab center abuse lawyers can help you hold a negligent or criminal treatment center accountable for your damages. You could be eligible for compensation through a civil claim against the rehab facility. Call our Chicago firm today at (888) 424-5757.
What is Drug Rehab Center Abuse?
Drug rehab center abuse refers to any action or omission that takes advantage of patients who are trying to obtain sobriety. Drug treatment facility abuse can take many forms. Patients may suffer physical abuse, neglect, or mistreatment at the hands of negligent staff members. They may also suffer emotional abuse in the form of belittling, humiliation, isolation, or inappropriate use of restraints.
Many types of drug rehab center abuse aim to give the perpetrator financial gain. Financial exploitation of drug rehab facility patients can involve healthcare fraud, breach of contract, or outright scams. Treatment centers may falsely advertise their services to patients or fail to meet the appropriate standards of care. They may engage in health insurance or drug fraud schemes that can harm patients. They may also steal and/or sell a patient’s information.
Why Does Drug Treatment Center Abuse Occur?
The federal government has no official definition of what constitutes a drug treatment or rehabilitation facility. Licensing requirements can vary by state. Unlike doctor’s offices or other medical facilities, drug rehab facilities are typical businesses in the eyes of the law. They do not have to obey the standards of the medical industry. Any entrepreneur – with or without knowledge or experience – can start a drug rehab center.
With the ongoing opioid epidemic and national drug addiction crisis, a proliferation of drug and alcohol rehabilitation centers has cropped up around the nation. Hundreds of entrepreneurs have taken the opportunity to capitalize on the current demand for rehab centers to create facilities of their own. The government only loosely regulates these facilities. Lack of official guidelines, rules, or safety standards leaves room for significant shortcomings.
Drug rehabilitation facilities do not have to face scrutiny or tight supervision from governmental bodies. They do not have to comply with the health, safety, or performance standards of other medical facilities. The government rarely inspects drug rehab centers, and more or less leaves owners to their own devices. Unfortunately, lack of government involvement in the industry has led to opportunities for patient abuse, neglect, and exploitation.
Examples of Drug Rehab Center Abuse
Drug treatment center abuse can range from physical to financial. Any mistreatment of a facility patient that causes the patient harm can constitute abuse. Physical abuse can include intimidation, causing bruises or injuries, or acts of sexual abuse such as making inappropriate physical contact. Financial abuse could cause the patient to lose thousands of dollars to the facility or one of its employees.
Examples of drug rehab center abuse include:
- Physical violence
- Sex crimes
- Emotional abuse
- Neglect or mistreatment
- Lapses in patient care
- Failure to give medication
- Refusing to feed patients
- Keeping the patient confined
- Financial exploitation
A lack of governmental authority over drug treatment centers does not give them the right to mistreat or abuse patients. Injured victims have the right to go up against treatment facilities in the civil courts. Filing a civil claim could be an outlet for justice, closure, and financial recovery for people who were trying to obtain sobriety.
Signs of a Drug Rehab Patient Suffering Abuse
If you have a loved one currently at a drug rehabilitation facility, or if you are at an inpatient center and noticing possible signs of abuse, speak out. Reporting signs of abuse or neglect could save lives. It could also hold the center responsible for its actions, misconduct, or fraud. Noticing red flags for drug rehab center abuse is the first step toward justice. Signs may include the following:
- Unusual or unexplained injuries. If a rehab facility patient suffers broken bones, bruising, lacerations, burns, strap marks, or other unusual injuries during his or her stay, physical abuse may be the cause. Look for frequent “accidents” or injuries that don’t align with the center’s excuse.
- Malnourishment. Undergoing drug detoxification can cause some physical changes in a patient, but after an initial period of detox the patient should start to recovery. If by the time the patient is in rehab, he or she still appears too thin, sickly, malnourished, or dehydrated, the center may not be providing proper food, drink, or medications.
- Behavioral changes. If they allow you to visit or speak to your loved one during inpatient rehab, watch for signs of something amiss. Your loved one should be receiving therapies, classes, and recovery exercises to improve the mind, body, and spirit. If instead your loved one appears to be distant, depressed, anxious, or suicidal, he or she may be the victim of facility abuse.
- Abrupt changes in financial station. Rehabilitation facilities are not free, but the center should be open and honest about its fees. It should provide an invoice and breakdown of all charges. Keep tabs on you or your loved one’s bank account while in rehab. Alert the authorities for any unauthorized or unusual charges to the account.
Abuse, neglect, and fraud are most common against those who cannot defend themselves. This includes children, the elderly, and people struggling to overcome substance addictions. Noticing the signs of something wrong could prevent further damage to the victim. As soon as you notice signs of abuse, remove yourself or your loved one from the facility and contact an attorney.
Why Choose Us?
Choosing your personal injury attorney is the first step toward achieving a positive outcome for your case. The lawyer you choose should have the experience, compassion, and resources to optimize the strength of your claim. Look for a lawyer with a proven history of success, as well as specific experience in drug rehab center abuse law. Clients choose Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers LLC to represent them for many reasons, including:
- We will invest the necessary resources to increase your odds of success and financial recovery during your case.
- We never work for corporations, insurance companies, physicians, or drug treatment centers. We only work for you, the victim.
- We have made record-setting recoveries for past clients. We maximize payouts with contingency fee legal cost arrangements.
- We have a network of trusted attorneys from across the country that we can refer you to if we cannot help you.
Our lawyers care about what happens to you. We are passionate about protecting the rights of citizens in Chicago. Our firm understands the nature of drug addictions and the difficulties you face. We know the personal and financial losses drug rehab center abuse may have cost you. We want to help you fight for justice and financial compensation. Initial consultations are always free and 100% confidential.
Contact Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers LLC Today
Drug rehab center abuse can do more than derail a patient’s recovery from a drug addiction – it could cause a host of new problems that may plague the victim. Treatment center abuse can cause relapse, overdose, and patient fatalities. It can also cause significant physical, financial, and emotional suffering for all involved. If you need a lawyer’s assistance with a drug rehab center abuse case in Chicago, contact us today. Our attorneys can build a personalized legal strategy on your behalf.