Dirty Detox

A lot of Alaskans have died for lack of treatment resources.
Some of those were people banned by the Salvation Army in its quest for 'turnaway sheets' (click here).
Others were simply people who individual Salvation Army staff did not like, and wanted to ban.
  • One girl was calling Detox a lot. Each time she called, we told her that she would get in soon. A supervisor eventually admitted that the client was banned, and would never get in.
  • After a mild confrontation, the supervisor admitted the ban was improper (i.e., "personal"), and said the client would be let in next time she called.
  • Soon after the young lady was let in, she was kicked out. The reason for her expulsion was again 'personal'. Within days the young lady died of an overdose.
    [The night of the death, the girl's mother (since passed) was stopped by airport police near Clitheroe, looking for her daughter.]
  • Another young woman was calling daily very soon after that death.
    Again, the supervisor was asked why the client was not being admitted. Again, the ban was "personal". Supervisors used "loyal" staff to try to make the ban "look good". [We were eventually forced by another agency to accept the client. More here]

    [The example of those two young women is used because it was startling that supervisors were unwilling to stop personal games with clients, even days after a death)].

  • One Residential client completed a 3 month treatment in Residential. During treatment he was popular with numerous female staff in Detox and Residential (he is client #2 here). Shortly after he completed Clitheroe's Residential program he began using drugs again. He telephoned a friend of his on staff and asked for a bed in Detox.
    It was one of the few times we were full and turning away people, but he was given a bed immediately.

    I asked the supervisor (who had prioritized him) why he was treated better than clients who had not had sex with so many staff members. The supervisor acted offended for a moment, then said it was to avoid a lawsuit. (From the few young female staff members he had not had sex with yet???)

    During an employment hearing, the Residential Director tried to remember if that client also got unusual computer privileges. click here [:56 seconds w/ 5 second pause]
  • One client was using heroin in Detox with the knowledge of staff.
    Several Residential clients complained. Two supervisors said the drug use should be ignored. One of the Residential clients who complained was a pregnant heroin addict. More on this page.

    • One younger woman called from a hotel room with a "this is my last phone call" tone. Because she was incontinent, she was banned.

  • About the same time an older (60s or so) man called. He was incontinent (to a lesser degree) but his alcoholism was to the point that his body and mind were quite damaged. By any standards he would not be a higher priority client... except that he had a Salvation Army connection, and good insurance. He was never put on any ban list, and probably would have become one of the Salvation Army's regulars if Detox had not closed.

Many bans were for legitimate reasons, like previous misconduct.
But... whether a ban was enforced or overlooked depended almost entirely on whether a client was "liked" by certain staff.
The staff members (including supervisors) who needed to "like" the client had the following in common:

  1. They had the least formal schooling (i.e. college).
  2. They were generally the youngest and least experienced.
  3. They were never disciplined for their misconduct.
  4. They were "churchy".
  • The three oldest nurses, who had the most experience and the best judgment, had little say in how Detox was run.
  • Both supervisors were very young LPNs with fairly new (2004) licenses and very little experience of any kind. Almost daily they did things that needed to be covered up, and would have cost them their supervisory positions at any honestly run organization.