Advocates fear more heroin withdrawal deaths in jails
LEBANON, Pa. (AP) -- Heroin withdrawal is rarely fatal, but more than a half-dozen people have died behind bars in the U.S. during the last two years after suffering from severe symptoms that their families say went untreated.
Civil rights lawyers fear the number could grow given the nation's heroin epidemic.
In Pennsylvania, the mother of an 18-year-old woman who collapsed and later died after days of severe vomiting sued Lebanon County officials on Monday. Stephanie Moyer's lawsuit accuses them of ignoring her need for medical care.
Prisons in larger cities, including Philadelphia, say they assess addicts upon intake and provide intravenous fluids and other medications if needed. But news accounts and court files detail other apparent withdrawal deaths in jails in Oregon, Michigan, Colorado and elsewhere.