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Singer's Death Rx for Jail Reform

12/21/2008 12:05 PM PST BY TMZ STAFF

Sean LevertThe death of R&B singer Sean Levert may open jail medicine cabinets far and wide.

Levert died in a Cleveland, Ohio jail after being forced to go cold turkey for six days. The jail refused to give him Xanax that had been prescribed for him. His death resulted in part from withdrawals from the med.

Now the Cuyahoga County jail where Leveret died is looking to change its policies and give inmates meds for valid prescriptions.

39 COMMENTS

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1.

mrs k    

i think this defines cruel and unusual punishment. why would a jailor for one second think their judgement regarding meds was superior to a medical doctor and deny anyone anything? it's medicine 101 to know that someone wil die coming off benzos - it's worse then heroin additction-wise. whoever made this decision should be held criminally liable.

2046 days ago
2.

STFU TMZ YOU ARE IDIOTS    

I'm appauled at this!!!!!!!!! I've been on benzos and still am on klonopin. I don't take them everyday anymore but I used to be addicted to xanax for my anxiety and you can't just come off of that!!!!! I can't believe this kind of thing is allowed in this day and age!

2046 days ago
3.

STFU TMZ YOU ARE IDIOTS    

Come to think of it, my ex was in jail before and denied meds for days so no i'm not surprised. I wonder how often people die from this.

2046 days ago
4.

Mr. Lemonlime    

as a person who has been in prison, I can personally say the medical care is horrendus. There is NO reason for this to happen in this country. I dont usually post, and I am of the mindset that if you "do the crime do the time" but incarcerated people suffer needlessly from everything including dental abcesses to mental health issues.

2046 days ago
5.

Cara    

That's soooo sad.

Remind me not to ever go to jail...again...for a long period of time.

2046 days ago
6.

bob    

i don't useually post but this is the same as torture. i withdrawed of klonopin 2months ago because i lost my healthcare and every ER doctor thought i was just tryin to score pills. it was hell beyond words. i was like an old man, couldn't focus a thought, i was so physically weak i couldn't even cook food for myself. it was the most painful thing ive ever went through. whoever runs that prison deserves the death sentence. that may seem harsh but go through benzo withdrawal cold turkey and then youll agree with me.

2046 days ago
7.

chrisa    

speaking from personal experience, i have severe back issues due to an injury suffered over 2 years ago and have been on pain medication for quite some time. even though i do not "feel" like i am addicted, i know my body is. so when the issues are finally resolved with my pain, the doc and i have discussed gradual tapering back.
i made the mistake of having a script run out and for the 24 hrs. until i could see the doc for a refill, i went through hell. i can only refill every 30 days to prevent abuse and did not make an appointment in time.

i can tell you without a doubt, this guy went through an agonizing period ( 6 days) before his death, the jail should be sued and held accountable.

2046 days ago
8.

He makes me sick    

I believe it. My brother was in federal prison for 2 years and saw a lot of very ill people treated with nothing more than Tylenol. One of them almost died as a result. Whoever decided that withholding proper medical care is going to help reform these people should be in prison themselves.

2046 days ago
9.

STFU TMZ YOU ARE IDIOTS    

I agree they deserve the death sentence too, whoever is responsible for this.

2046 days ago
10.

Smarty    

Xanax is not addictive. You can take it as needed - once a day or once a week or once a month. This could not have been the med that he was addicted to. TMZ needs to do some more research as he was probably on Prozac or something like that. If you or on Prozac, you cannot stop cold turkey - it is very dangerous.

2046 days ago
11.

STFU TMZ YOU ARE IDIOTS    

Diana, xanax IS addictive, and so is prozac, they are all addictive. Your body gets used to it all. But xanax is one of the worst, it is sold on the street.

2046 days ago
12.

Cara    

Diana... Notto be rude but yes xanax IS addictive.

No, it's not if it's only used short term...but for those who are on it as treatment for life...it IS addictive and they WILL die if they are taken off of it suddenly.
You should do some research if you are on it before you make this allegation.
I would hate to see you go through withdraw. It's not fun.

2046 days ago
13.

Cara    

And I'm sure the family WILL be suing and WILL win.

2046 days ago
14.

pattie in cali    

the jail should be sued, they don't have the right to do this. for whatever he did, he had medical problems. they should have done a better job. shame on you guys, you guys play GOD, shame on you, people do have problems that need attention.
i am so sorry to hear another story like this. this could have be stopped. but the jail choose to play doctor and GOD. its on them.

2046 days ago
15.

STFU TMZ YOU ARE IDIOTS    

They will tell you that Prozac, Effexor, etc are not addictive. I have went through Effexor withdrawl (only for a few days i got my med after like 3 days) and it was hell. I have argued with people about this, and I fully believe that these anti depressants are addictive too. Not in the same way, you don't really realize you are dependent on them until you don't have them and then it dawns on you it's your anti depressant making you sick (lack of I mean). So even though Diana is wrong about the xanax, I'm glad someone else said that prozac (or any anti depressant) was addictive.

2046 days ago
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