Substandard and often dangerous healthcare is the norm when the attitude of the healthcare
"All addicts lie all the time."
A bit over 4 years ago “Diane” sat in a jail cell for about 5 months. I would visit her every couple of weeks. During our conversations, she told me how she was completely done with drug use and the entire street lifestyle.
The court system, under the direction of a very caring judge, was working on finding her placement in a rehab facility. She was placed in a Philadelphia-based Medicaid-level facility. I learned after the fact that she signed herself out because there were so many drugs on the floor where she was residing that she could not focus on recovery. She was relying on a drug-free environment and this facility did not provide that so she left.
She was making arrangements to go to a facility she was familiar with but could not get in for a couple of days. Kensington streets were her only option to stay in. She managed to find a room on the avenue. The temptations of the streets and the drugs called her louder than she could resist. She did a small amount of drugs and was dead by morning.
Her two daughters will be her living legacy.
“Dakota” was an amazing naturally gifted counselor. Her dream was to one day become an attorney. In December 2021, she unintentionally injected an artery. Bleeding was profuse. After several days she was taken by ambulance to Jean's Hospital. 2 hours later one of the ER staff members came into her room and told her that she was being discharged because
"We need your bed for real patients."
Her bleeding continued and she died about 5 days later.
Her two sons will be her living legacy.
Recently a loved one who I met on these streets was seeking care at a detox rehab facility. As is the case with almost everyone going into detox for opioid use detox, she used before going in. There's nothing unusual about that at all.
She had gone through almost all of the admissions process which was about 2 hours. She told me that she was high during the process and dipping but answered all questions and engaged in the entire process of admission.
She tells me that she was sitting in the admissions waiting area for the next step. She remembers being jolted awake when a staff member stuck Narcan up her nose and squirted it. She tried to stop them but they injected Narcan up her nose anyway. (It is medically unnecessary and completely inappropriate to provide Narcan to a conscious patient.)
They told her that she would have to go to the hospital since she was now a liability to the facility for having been narcaned. She was taken by ambulance to Cedar Avenue Hospital, a campus of the University of Pennsylvania.
She begged and pleaded not to be taken away because she so much wanted the care of the detox. She wanted to be done with her addiction and all that comes with it. After several hours in the emergency room, as I sat with her, she told me how much trust she lost in the facility to which she had entrusted so much hope just a few hours before.
She is now trying to figure out what her next step is going to be. That next step might be returning to the streets and all that street life encompasses for a woman.
Each of these situations has been publicly discussed with professionals in positions of authority who could make a difference and correct some of these wrongs. But no one has and most likely, no one will. And you know why?
"All addicts lie all the time!"
We have to get away from this misnomer.
We must consider the statements of these people who have been made in the image of God and who are worthy of the highest dignity and honor and respect and love. They are suffering so tremendously in their own literal hell and their words of complaint and concern in the midst of seeking care must be taken seriously.
To that end, I have been gathering stories of first-hand accounts of mistreatment by professionals in medical facilities. The beginnings of this effort are found at this web link on my blog site. I invite you to read over these first-hand accounts to get a better understanding.
I am searching for accurate accounts of mistreatment. I'm not looking for exaggerated or false accounts of anything. I'm looking for patterns of mistreatment.
All of this can be anonymously submitted through this survey.
You can also submit true accounts by email which does not allow for total anonymity since there's an email address involved. Here’s the email address: PlowDownMedicaidMountain@gmail.com
I invite you to pass along this blog and associated links as you see best for bringing resolve to this sad situation.