What is it like to go to jail with drug withdrawals? Well, put it this way: The only thing worse than going to jail is going to jail while you’re dope sick. It’s the worst experience ever. This is especially true of jail substations, which typically have no medical care at all. The only thing they can do is take you to the emergency room, which they won’t do unless you’re having chest pains, are pregnant, bleeding profusely or have some other kind of life-threatening condition. If jail staff knows or suspects that you’re just in withdrawal, they will typically ignore you. They might even laugh at you for it. No one will care how awful you feel. They will stick you in a stinky, cold, unbelievably uncomfortable cell and leave you there.
Drug withdrawal from all drug classes, especially opioids, often involves vomiting and unrelenting diarrhea. No one will care. You will not get any kind of medication or clean clothing. If the one thin blanket you are issued gets soiled or isn’t enough to keep you warm, too bad. You won’t believe how insensitive jail personnel can be. They figure it like this: You took the drugs. You got addicted. It’s your fault.
No one will care about you one bit.
You’ve probably read many stories before about people dying while in jail. Of the types of police custody, substations are the worst and the most dangerous as far as death is concerned. The people working there are jaded and cavalier. Many are uneducated and know nothing about substance abuse. They don’t know that some types of drug withdrawal can kill. They can watch someone horribly sick from withdrawal and just walk away. It doesn’t seem to bother them at all. Now, you begin to see how people die in these kinds of places. They die and suffer from ignorance and a total lack of human concern.
These places are still pretty bad, overcrowded, poorly staffed and run by controlling sheriff types with attitudes. Medical care is minimal, but at least they do have it. However, county jails don’t care about drug withdrawal, either. As far as they care, you can just struggle through it on your own. There won’t be any juice to help rehydrate you and replace electrolytes lost from vomiting and diarrhea. If you need water, you’ll drink it from a small, nasty fountain located in a tiny sink directly above the toilet.
You will bunk with whoever they put you with. There will be nothing to help you get through withdrawal unless you get so sick your life is threatened. In that case, if you’re lucky, you’ll get transported to the hospital. At least there, you might get some real help. However, no staff person will want to take you because they have to wait around for hours to bring you back. Not one single person will care about you in that county jail. You can be sure of that.
It used to be that county jails never dispensed opioid maintenance drugs like Suboxone. This is slowly changing. Some county jails in some states are now offering Suboxone therapy to those inmates addicted to opioids. However, this doesn’t apply to state prisons. If you get a prison sentence, you’ll be detoxing there for sure. As a rule, prisons dispense narcotics only for physical medical conditions and only sparingly. It would typically be limited to those with documented very painful diseases and cancer.
In a substation, you will get nothing. If you have some kind of serious chronic condition that they can see, such as being unable to walk or if you’re pregnant, they will probably transport you to the county jail unless you’re going to bail out right away. Everyone else gets stuck in a cell until they go to court. In some cases, this might be the next day and the judge might release you from court before you can get too sick from withdrawal. However, if you get arrested for a felony right before a long holiday weekend, you could be stuck in a substation for close to a week. A felony charge may not even have a bail.
Being in withdrawal in jail is the worst. Trust me, you want to avoid this at all costs. The problem is, many people with drug habits also break the law on a regular basis and get arrested sooner or later. That’s when you will find out what misery really is.
There’s a better way. Get help before you even see the inside of a jail. You can call us anytime at 424-499-2603 for professional, caring drug treatment referrals and information about Suboxone. You do not want to be sick in jail from drugs or for any other reason. It’s miserable and dangerous to your health. Call today. We look forward to helping you.