Residential treatment facilities (RTCs) are intended to provide a safe and nurturing environment for young individuals struggling with various mental, behavioral, and chemical issues. They often tend to be more effective than outpatient care. Millions of Americans have entrusted the 16,066 substance abuse treatment facilities to care for their loved ones.
But not all of these facilities are made equal. While some may fulfill their duty of care, others fail. It leads to residential treatment abuse. And when that happens, the consequences can be more devastating than you think.
Residential treatment abuse can take a toll on the mental and physical well-being of children who are already vulnerable. We have seen this happen quite often as a residential abuse treatment attorney.
If you have placed your loved one in a residential treatment facility, you should know how residential treatment abuse can affect them. Let’s understand the emotional and physical impact of residential treatment abuse.
What Is Residential Treatment Abuse?
As you may already know, residential substance abuse treatment programs are designed to care for individuals with mental health or addiction issues. And residential treatment abuse occurs when they fail to provide the expected level of care and mistreat or harm their residents. Unfortunately, residential treatment abuse is often hard to see because most people do not visit their loved ones regularly.
But as residential abuse treatment lawyers, we have come across different types of residential treatment abuse. They include:
1. Physical Abuse: Physical assault occurs when residents face physical violence. It usually includes hitting, slapping, excessive use of restraints, rough handling, or punishment techniques. Unfortunately, physical violence like this can cause both immediate and long-term harm.
2. Neglect: Neglect in residential treatment facilities is more common than you think. It occurs when a facility fails to provide basic needs, such as food, shelter, medical attention, and emotional support. Neglect can leave RTC residents vulnerable to physical and emotional decline.
3. Medication Errors: Mishandling or administering incorrect dosages of medication can have serious consequences for residents. It can lead to adverse reactions, medical complications, or even life-threatening situations.
4. Sexual Abuse: Sexual abuse is a horrifying reality. It includes subjecting residents to non-consensual sexual acts, such as attempted rape, fondling, unwanted sexual contact or touching, and oral or other forms of sex. Sexual abuse often violates residents’ trust in the facility. Worse still, it can cause immense psychological trauma.
5. Emotional Abuse: Emotional abuse can manifest through verbal insults, humiliation, intimidation, isolation, or constant criticism. It can cause deep emotional distress, low self-esteem, and a sense of powerlessness among the residents.
How Residential Treatment Abuse Affects Your Loved Ones
Whether your loved one is going through a residential substance abuse treatment program or treatment for behavioral improvement, they have the right to a safe and caring environment. However, residential treatment abuse robs them of a place to heal. Rather, it aggravates their already vulnerable situation.
Here’s how this can affect your loved ones.
1. Psychological Trauma:
Deep psychological trauma is one of the worst effects of residential treatment abuse. In most cases, survivors suffer from intrusive memories, nightmares, and flashbacks. They also live in constant fear and anxiety, which can persist long after they leave the facility.
Moreover, your loved one is likely to experience symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). They usually include hypervigilance, avoidance of triggers, and emotional distress. In other words, they have difficulty leading a normal.
2. Substance Abuse and Self-Harm
For some individuals, the RTC abuse can be so intense that it drives them to substance abuse and self-harm. Victims often resort to these as a coping mechanism, which soon becomes an addiction.
They may turn to drugs, alcohol, or prescription medications to cope with the psychological and physical aftermath of the abuse. Unfortunately, substance abuse can exacerbate existing mental health issues and further deteriorate physical health.
Likewise, some individuals may engage in self-harming behaviors. This can include cutting, burning, or other forms of deliberate self-inflicted harm. It often provides the victims with a temporary sense of relief. But in reality, self-harm can cause further physical harm and health complications.
3. Emotional Instability:
Residential treatment abuse can also cause profound emotional instability. Usually, victims fail to regulate their emotions. They will most likely experience:
- Intense mood swings
- Emotional numbness
Most survivors also face difficulty expressing their feelings. As they are often overwhelmed, these abuse victims cannot communicate their needs effectively. In short, they find it hard to develop healthy coping mechanisms.
4. Trust and Relationship Issues:
Residential treatment abuse can make trusting others very difficult. In such situations, the victims often feel they are not worthy of trust, or others may never come through for them. Essentially, your loved one will fear relying on someone else, even their closest family members and friends.
And that’s not the end of it. Over time, trust issues lead to failed relationships, one after another. As a result, most abuse victims spend their lives struggling to be in a healthy and stable relationship. That’s the cost of a failed substance abuse residential treatment.
5. Health Issues:
The cumulative stress of residential treatment abuse can lead to several health issues. The chronic stress resulting from the stress can weaken your immune system. That, in turn, can cause the survivors to be more susceptible to infections and illnesses.
Additionally, physical abuse can lead to a lack of proper medical care and malnutrition. This is a deadly combination that can lead to several health complications, such as:
- Insomnia, nightmares, and sleep disturbances.
- Nutritional deficiencies.
- Delayed growth or development.
- Chronic health problems like fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue syndrome, or autoimmune disorders.
- Persistent headaches, digestive issues, or unexplained pain.
But you can prevent these problems from causing further damage to your loved one with the help of an experienced residential abuse treatment attorney. Talk to them about your problem to seek appropriate legal help.
How Can an Experienced Residential Abuse Treatment Attorney Help?
Taking on a residential facility all by yourself is easier said than done. Most RTCs are run by large corporations. They often have a fleet of lawyers on retainer and virtually unlimited resources. You need a capable and experienced residential abuse treatment attorney who can stand up for your rights.
A skilled residential abuse treatment lawyer can:
- Offer you compassionate legal advice and support.
- Investigate your case and find tangible evidence to support your claim.
- Help you get the maximum possible compensation.
- Leave no stone unturned when fighting for your rights.
So, speak with an attorney as soon as possible.
Residential treatment facilities are intended to provide a safe and nurturing environment. And when they don’t, the consequences are devastating, especially for the residents and their families. The only way to prevent this is to understand how residential treatment abuse happens and how it can affect your loved one. Hopefully, this post will shed some light on this sensitive issue.
If you think your recovering loved one has suffered abuse, talk to our residential abuse treatment lawyer. At Carlson Injury, we defend your rights in court and help you get the best possible settlement. Call us today to know more!