I have, just this morning, learned of the overdose death of a young man with whom I've had some interaction on the streets of Kensington. He and I have several Facebook friends in common. I'm deeply saddened as I learn of his passing.
As I write this, I'm trying to find that balance of sharing with you my thoughts, honoring him and being sensitive to his family's agony. This young man spent the last several months in local jails, was discharged, and overdosed within hours.
In the words of a woman of whom I've written here and as she unwittingly followed the same path:
“This (time in jail) is a time of mental rot.”
“This process only builds up more resentment in people who are already dealing with resentment from the emotional traumas that got them here in the first place.”
This woman went on to describe this time of mental rot…
As a time of sitting in an oversized toilet stall with no privacy around the toilet and sharing that toilet stall with some other woman she doesn't know, having two cots in that toilet stall with something that's supposed to resemble a mattress and one sheet to cover herself at night. It is a time of little to no therapies and living inside one's own head and reliving the emotional traumas that escorted her into addiction and convincing herself more and more that she's just not worth it. It is indeed a time of "mental rot."
Jail is no place for a patient of Substance Use Disorder to receive treatment for their condition.
Detox and Rehab Facilities are designed for patients of Substance Use Disorder.
Jails are designed for people guilty of a crime.
Having Substance Use Disorder and behaving accordingly with active drug consumption should not be viewed as a crime worthy of jail but rather a condition worthy of appropriate treatment.
If you, governmental leaders, insist on having medical patients of Substance Use Disorder residing in your jails, then you must provide the therapies that are needed so that your patient/inmate will be healed enough and have the resources so as not to be called back to their substance(s) and be dead within hours.
Much of this blog series looks at this topic. A next blog to read that you may find helpful is this one: