Substance abuse disorders have become a national epidemic. TheNational Survey on Drug Use and Healthestimates that 20.7 million people needed substance abuse treatment in 2017. A drug detoxification or rehabilitation program could be critical for someone with a drug dependency. Unfortunately, abuse and mistreatment of patients inside drug rehab centers are destroying patients’ chances for recovery.
If you or someone you love has suffered abuse at a rehab center, 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 injuries. You could be eligible for compensation through a civil claim against the rehab facility. Call our firm today at (888) 424-5757.
What is Drug Rehab Center Abuse?
Drug rehab center abuse is any action or omission that takes advantage of patients who are trying to obtain sobriety. Abuse in drug treatment facilities can take many forms. Patients might suffer physical violence, 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.
Some rehab center abuse aims to give the perpetrator financial gain. Financial exploitation of rehab facility patients can involve health insurance fraud, breach of contract, or outright scams. Treatment centers may falsely advertise their services to patients, engage in health insurance or drug fraud schemes that can harm patients. They may also steal and/or sell a patient’s private 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 conform to the standards imposed on the medical industry. Any entrepreneur— with or without medical education or experience— can open 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 treatment and opened facilities of their own. The government only loosely regulates these facilities. Lack of official guidelines, rules, or safety standards leaves room for significant problems.
Drug rehabilitation facilities face no scrutiny or supervision from regulators, nor do they have to comply with the same health and safety standards other medical facilities do. The government rarely inspects these centers, and more or less leaves operators to their own devices. Unfortunately, lack of oversight of this industry has opened the door to 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 other injuries, or acts of sexual abuse such as inappropriate physical contact. Financial abuse could cause the patient to lose thousands of dollars to the facility or one of its employees.
Examples of rehab center abuse include:
- Physical violence
- Sex crimes
- Emotional abuse
- Neglect or mistreatment
- Lapses in patient care
- Failure to give medication
- Withholding food from patients
- Keeping the patient confined
- Financial exploitation
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 pursue the staff and operators of these abusive facilities in the civil courts. Filing a civil claim could be an avenue for justice, closure, and financial recovery for innocent and unsuspecting people who were trying to obtain sobriety.
Signs of Drug Rehab Patient Abuse
If your loved one is currently residing in a drug rehabilitation facility, or if you are staying at an inpatient center, and you notice possible signs of abuse, speak out. Reporting signs of abuse or neglect could save lives. It could also hold the center responsible for its negligence, misconduct, or fraud. Learning how to notice the red flags of rehab center abuse is the first step toward obtaining justice.
Signs may include the following:
- Unusual or unexplained injuries. If a rehab 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 recover. If by the time the patient is finished detox, 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 your loved one instead appears to be distant, depressed, anxious, or suicidal, he or she may be the victim of facility abuse.
- Abrupt changes in financial situation. Rehabilitation facilities are not free, but the center should be open and honest about its fees. It should provide invoices and breakdowns of all charges. Keep tabs on your or your loved one’s bank account while in rehab. Alert the authorities to any unauthorized or unusual charges to the account.
Abuse, neglect, and fraud are most commonly perpetrated against those who are in a weakened position to defend themselves. This includes children, the elderly, and people struggling to overcome substance addictions. Being able to spot the signs that something’s wrong could prevent further harm 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. The lawyer you choose should have the experience, compassion, and resources to optimize the strength of your claim. Look for legal counsel with a proven history of success, as well as specific experience in drug rehab center abuse law. Clients choose Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers to represent them for many reasons, including:
- We will invest the necessary resources to increase your chances of success and financial recovery in your case.
- We never work for corporations, insurance companies, physicians, or drug treatment centers. We only work for you, the victim.
- We have won record-setting recoveriesfor past clients. We maximize payouts for clients with contingency-fee cost arrangements.
- We have a network of trusted attorneys across the country whom we can refer you to if we cannot help you.
Our lawyers care what happens to you. We are passionate about protecting the rights of people in substance abuse treatment. Our firm understands the nature of drug addiction 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 completely confidential.
Contact Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers Today
Drug rehab center abuse can do more than derail a patient’s recovery—it can 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, contact us today. Our attorneys can build a personalized legal strategy on your behalf.