Julie Eldred in Massachusetts was arrested for stealing some jewelry and said she was thieving because she wanted to score more drugs. Eldred was lucky, however, in that the judge assigned to her case was lenient enough to allow her to go into an outpatient rehab program. A few days in to her rehab, she relapsed one time, which made her test positive for fentanyl. Because of that, Eldred was sent to jail.

Since some studies show drug addiction to be a disease affecting the brain, Eldred has argued that her being sent to jail for the one-time relapse is cruel and unusual punishment, and she is pushing her case to the highest courts in Massachusetts. This case is especially important for those who are directly involved in drug addiction be it through friend, family member, or oneself. Most likely, it will be used as an example across the US for people who relapse, but the verdict will change who’s going to use the Eldred case as precedent.

 

STOW, Mass. — As soon as Julie Eldred was granted probation for stealing jewelry to buy drugs, she got busy fulfilling the judge’s conditions. She began an intensive all-day outpatient treatment program. She even went an extra step and started daily doses of Suboxone, a medication that can quell opiate cravings.
Then she relapsed and snorted her drug of choice — fentanyl.
To stop from plunging into free fall, she asked her doctor for a stronger dose of Suboxone. She stayed clean the next day. And the next.
But the following morning, 11 days after her probation began, she had her first drug screen and tested positive. Traces of fentanyl had lingered in her system. Within hours, she was shackled, strip-searched and incarcerated. Continue Reading Here

 

Reviewed for Medical & Clinical Accuracy by Dr. Jeffrey Berman, MD

Dr. Jeffrey Berman, MDDr. Jeffrey Berman is a psychiatrist in Teaneck, New Jersey and is affiliated with Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital. He received his medical degree from State University of New York Upstate Medical University and has been in practice for more than 20 years. He also speaks multiple languages, including French and Hebrew.

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