If difficult child is on medications & goes to jail, can he continue his medications?

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by bertie, Jul 20, 2008.

  1. bertie

    bertie Been there too many times

    He's never been in jail while on medications, so this is new to us.....if so, does he take them with him? Do they evaluate and then supply them?
  2. Sara PA

    Sara PA New Member

    They likely won't allow him to take medications. They will have him and his medical records evaluated by a doctor who will then prescribe what that doctor thinks is needed. It may be different medications completely or different drugs within the same class of drugs. Cost is a factor. I have heard of people not getting needed medications for days after being incarcerated and then, once they got medications, they were different from what was being taken before. Abrupt withdrawal from psychotropics can be a problem.
  3. bertie

    bertie Been there too many times

    OMG what a nightmare.

    His girlfriend's stepdad works in the corrections system - if difficult child goes to jail for an extended period, he will probably go where this person works. I'll see if I can get more info.....

    Thanks Sara!
  4. OpenWindow

    OpenWindow Active Member

    I've heard the same as Sara. If it's is a concern, I'd talk to difficult child's psychiatrist right now about weening him off before he gets there. Seems safer to me than taking a chance.

    I don't see how the correctional system can't see that this is a problem they really need to address. How many prisoners are going through withdrawal their first few weeks in jail? It can't be a good thing.
  5. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    It is good that you have an "in" with the corrections system. I know my parents slept better when my bro was in teh county jail because we had a family friend who was in charge of the jail.

    Sorry you have to worry about such things.
  6. standswithcourage

    standswithcourage New Member

    All of the experiences my son has had with the jail system is this.....he was always on some kind of benzo or addictive substance when he went in - however, they evaluate them and put them on medication comparable to what they were on - it will not be narcotics - it was always something like ativan and something to help him sleep - so he says - however when he got out he was back to the same thing that probably got him in trouble! I know they have withdrawal - I always called the medical dept. and left a message for the doctor so they would know what he was on - also I called mental health and left messages for them also
  7. bertie

    bertie Been there too many times

    Well I'm lucky in one way, my son is not doing anything other than pot.....and I do have several friends who work in the corrections system in WA. One of them is a counselor at the local prison (where my son would go if he gets longer than a year). I traded some emails with them this morning and was told that if he stays in the city jail (less than a year), that's good because when the jail gets crowded, they let people go early.

    difficult child isn't on psychotropic medications right now, that's another issue (and another thread ; ) - aalthough he may be by the time he goes to jail.

    Thanks all, I appreciate the feedback.
  8. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    Locally they will not accept medications OR prescriptions from "outside". It is not unusual for four or five days to pass without medications before "their MD" prescribes....this is true, even with seizure medications. The patient is billed for all medications and the cost is MUCH higher. It's a sad policy, in my humble opinion. DDD
  9. Star*

    Star* call 911........call 911


    This is probably one of the LARGEST problems in jail, since Ronald Regan beagn the deinstitutionalization of mental hospitals. Patients with schizophrenia and BiPolar (BP) that COULD be helped with the proper medication and treatment are not given the opportunity to see a psychiatrist. If they do get to see the psychiatric? It's for less than a minute per patient and how much can you tell in 1 minute? Then you have to understand that jails will NOT provide top shelf medications for inmates. They have bids and which ever drug company bids lowest for their brand of "one shoe fits all medicine" that's what is prescribed. There is no tweaking of medications in jail. There is just a pill - take it, didn't work? We'll increase it. Didn't work again? We have the pill you had or nothing - which do you choose?

    It's very sad. I'm glad to hear your son will have a little inside help. My son was in Department of Juvenile Justice and was suicidal - they took him out of the psychiatric ward in hand cuffs after an attempted suicide attempt. When he got to Department of Juvenile Justice - he was stripped, showerd, and shoved in an observation room for 9 hours. Three weeks later the psychiatric. came in and he would not eat, talk to anyone. He lived for our Wed. night visits. They put him on Zoloft whcih makes him suicidal. (me too) and when I called the jail to talk to his UBER pseudo Christian counselor? I told her I had just gotten a call that he intended to hang himself. She told me - he was pulling my leg. I told her - if he dies I recorded the conversation - take him off Zoloft NOW.

    He had a sheet in his room ready and was trying to figure it out. They took him out of the room - put him on LOS (line of sight) and watched him for 72 hours. As if he would do it in a hall on a plastic toboggan bed. They didn't take him off the medications - he called, he stated the same - I called same counselor - she said I needed to stop calling. Twenty minutes later he tried to kill himself again. They called HER - put him back on LOS - and took him off the zoloft 2 days later.

    The conversation I had with her AFTER that incident was NOT one I would ever care to type out here, and I did call her boss, and her boss' boss - no one cared. that was so yesterday to them.

    I basically got told IF I wanted to have my son babied? It wasn't going to happen there. He also got his finger broken and it's STILL broken and they did NOTHING to help him. NOTHING. Yet when you sit in the waiting room of this jail? They show you a looped video of ALL THEIR SERVICES - dental, psychologist etc.....its nauseating.

    Just keep tellign yourself he's off the streets and he's going to be okay. Pray often, and hang tough.

    (not an advocate for prison - most definitely an advocate for mentally ill people getting proper help) -and that is NOT in prison
  10. ctmom05

    ctmom05 Member

    Part of what happens with regards to medications may hinge on the "local climate." Perhaps our experience was more the exception than the rule, but medications were given during incarceration.
  11. Star*

    Star* call 911........call 911

    OMG I think I'm moving to CT....that is FANTASTIC CT mom - must be a progressive thinking jail - BRAVO to your district! It's nice to hear that they all aren't idiots.

  12. bertie

    bertie Been there too many times

    Star, where are you located? I'm so sorry to hear about your son's horrible experience in jail. What a nightmare!
  13. Star*

    Star* call 911........call 911

    I'm in SC. Behind the times by AT LEAST 50 years.

    I think they just got running water in the courthouse. lol
  14. standswithcourage

    standswithcourage New Member

    Ditto to Star - I am in SC too...........................