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  • Handeling Drug Abusers

    Hello All! This is my first post, and I have a question that I can't seem to find an answer for.

    I'm an S/O at a hospital and am trying to find information for training on how to handle drug abusers to keep them from getting violent when they're either A) high, or B) coming down from being high. I need at least small fact sheets or else some sources to present to our Lead tech.

    It needs to be information on how to act around someone who is high in order to keep them from lashing out. For example: with people high on meth, you never break eye contact, speak calm, clear, and precise, keep your hands in the open, and no sudden movements.

    Does anybody know if I can find any information like this on multiple types of drugs, or have you yourselves received such training?

    Thank you!
    Last edited by Sarin; 03-09-2007, 05:14 PM. Reason: Spelling error
    Well...at least it's not a desk job.

  • #2
    Originally posted by Sarin
    Hello All! This is my first post, and I have a question that I can't seem to find an answer for.

    I'm an S/O at a hospital and am trying to find information for training on how to handle drug abusers to keep them from getting violent when they're either A) high, or B) coming down from being high. I need at least small fact sheets or else some sources to present to our Lead tech.

    It needs to be information on how to act around someone who is high in order to keep them from lashing out. For example: with people high on meth, you never break eye contact, speak calm, clear, and precise, keep your hands in the open, and no sudden movements.

    Does anybody know if I can find any information like this on multiple types of drugs, or have you yourselves received such training?

    Thank you!
    Since this is your first post, welcome.
    The national organization which does hospital accrediation has a section devoted to security and a subsection of which contains material on a consensus of how to properly handle drug abusers.
    Your hospital security director has a copy of that manual and is required to perform self inspections to maintain compliance and assure further accrediations.
    PM me for specific names who can help you "back channel." Keeps the tail feathers from being singed.
    Enjoy the day,
    Bill

    Comment


    • #3
      I used to work security for a hospital. Most of our non-medical calls were dealing with violent, uncooperative, or belligerent drug users. Since we were indoors, chemical agents could not be deployed since they would infiltrate the entire ventilation system. Your most valuable tool is nowhere on your duty belt, or in your pockets; rather in your head. Using your brain function to determine and react goes a long ways, farther than any sort of weapon or restraint device. Batons (even the collapsable ones) were too long with too many innocent patrons or equipment around to limit the swinging distance. Depending on the situation, handcuffing would be nearly impossible to do since the cuffs don't go on until after control has been established. Therefore, the only thing left short of a taser or firearm was our hand-hand combat. Train in jiu-jitsu or krav maga to begin to understand a sense of grappling without pushing the limits. Self defense tactics go a long ways when dealing with people who are reacting to chemical substances. Also use common sense. Dealing with them is like dealing with any other kind of situation in that you need to establish a presence and/or take control of the situation without losing control yourself, or using excessive force. Meth users are un-predictable, and do have a lot of energy, but will wear out quick since the energy comes from the superficial chemical, and is not naturally produced. Heroin users will probably be the biggest problem as far as how much force to use, based on the fact that heroin numbs the nervous system, so the sensitivity to pain is diminished. The nice thing about heroin users (my cynical side coming out now) is that they are usually calm and relaxed because of the state they are in, and have no motivation or energy to fight. Also research your drugs of interest to find out their effects on the body so you know what to expect and look for during your shifts.

      Comment


      • #4
        The best advice I can give you as someone that has worked in hospitals for the last couple years is to trust in your instincts and trust noone. When it comes to dealing with someone under the influence of any substance, maintain your safety bubble. Don't be rude and condescending (as most nurses can tend to be) but in the same sense don't side with them. Get some type of repoir with them and get them to not look at you as a threat. What type of uniform are you guys in? What is your physical stature? I have a lil ol lady that works patorl for me that I bring in a lot for people of an altered state of mind. Why? Because she has the motherly look to her and most people are scared of hell of pissing her off. In the same sense I always have another officer with her.

        Sometimes things don't always work out the way that we want to. Learn the physical aspect of the job. Find out what both your hospital policy, company policy (if contract) and stae law is on when you can go hands on with a patient.

        As for statistics, look up the International Association of Hospital Security and Safety. They have some statistics on workplace violence in hospitals, send me a PM and I can get some for you (will involve me pulling out my cert books).

        To conclude. Welcome to the forum and to hospital security in general. We have a unique job in security and this is one of many places to gather some great resources.

        Comment


        • #5
          Its always best to be respectful with anyone you are dealing with. With that said, you can give someone orders, detain someone, and even shout at someone and still be respectful. Respect is a language that criminals understand.

          Its all about drawing the druggie into your frame. If you are bending over and talking like a social worker to the druggie then you are less dominant and you are being drawn into their frame.

          If you tell the druggie exactly what to do, are sure of yourself, and give your orders with a slow, deep tone that resonates in your chest. Then you are dominant and the one running the show.

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by BoxerGuard
            1. Its always best to be respectful with anyone you are dealing with.
            2. With that said, you can give someone orders, detain someone, and even shout at someone and still be respectful.
            3. Respect is a language that criminals understand.
            1. True, using a fairly narrow definition of "respectful".
            2. Ditto.
            3. Don't count on it for one second. Some of them might "understand" (which isn't to say they'll obey), but many will mistake "respect" for weakness simply because that's how their world works.

            Speak softly, but carry a big stick and be prepared to use it. You never know when you'll run across a guy who'll try to shove your "respect" where the sun don't shine. (You never know when you might encounter a TROLL who needs his melon popped, too. They're everywhere these days, it seems...note this poster's "location" and other posts.)
            Last edited by SecTrainer; 03-11-2007, 06:22 AM.
            "Every betrayal begins with trust." - Brian Jacques

            "I can't predict the future, but I know that it'll be very weird." - Anonymous

            "There is nothing new under the sun." - Ecclesiastes 1:9

            "History, with all its volumes vast, hath but one page." - Lord Byron

            Comment


            • #7
              My first ever security position was at a VA Hospital in the 70s while going to school under the GI Bill. My first big surprise was that not very many of their staff was comprised of Veterans and sometimes I got the feeling that they didn't care much for Vets.

              Anyway I was assigned to the 6th floor (Psych) ward and loved it. Maybe I fit in too good. I learned while in Nam that if you keep a smile at all times when confronting a patient they will perceive you as a friend. But if other things are going on in their head then not much else will penetrate their minds. Then it's time to call for the orderlies. Oh yea my uniform at that position was street clothes. Something to think about have you ever encountered a first generation Asian that does not emidetly smile when you face them?
              THE AVERAGE RESPONSE TIME FOR A 911 CALL IS FOUR MINUTES
              THE AVERAGE RESPONSE TIME FOR A .357 MAGNUM ROUND IS 1400 FEET PER SECOND?
              http://www.boondocksaints.com/

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by SecTrainer
                (You never know when you might encounter a TROLL who needs his melon popped, too. They're everywhere these days, it seems...note this poster's "location" and other posts.)
                You have some hang up about my location. You have posted about it time and again now. I will put the real one there. Obviously you can't take a joke.

                I consider "TROLL" to be a derogatory term. If you call me that again you will be reported to the Moderator. Read the rules.....

                Although the administrators and moderators of SecurityInfoWatch Forums - Discussions for the Security Professional will attempt to keep all objectionable messages off this forum, it is impossible for us to review all messages. All messages express the views of the author, and neither the owners of SecurityInfoWatch Forums - Discussions for the Security Professional, nor Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd. (developers of vBulletin) will be held responsible for the content of any message.

                By agreeing to these rules, you warrant that you will not post any messages that are obscene, vulgar, sexually-orientated, hateful, threatening, or otherwise violative of any laws.
                Last edited by BoxerGuard; 03-11-2007, 11:01 PM.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by BoxerGuard
                  You have some hang up about my location. You have posted about it time and again now. I will put the real one there. Obviously you can't take a joke.
                  Note the name of these forums... "Discussions for the Security Professional." Your idea of professional conduct is listing your location as "In your momma's bed"? Does your resume read similarly?

                  Originally posted by BoxerGuard
                  Read the rules.....

                  By agreeing to these rules, you warrant that you will not post any messages that are obscene, vulgar, sexually-orientated, hateful, threatening, or otherwise violative of any laws.
                  I have read them. "Troll" has a hard time fitting the definition of a "hateful" word by any stretch of the imagination, while I suppose "in your momma's bed" could be considered sexually-orientated. Satisfied? Grow up.
                  Last edited by LPGuy; 03-12-2007, 02:34 PM.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Thank you to everyone who replied to this. The information really has helped! Can I ask what TROLL is supposed to stand for? lol
                    Well...at least it's not a desk job.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Sarin
                      Thank you to everyone who replied to this. The information really has helped! Can I ask what TROLL is supposed to stand for? lol
                      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Internet_troll
                      I enforce rules and regulations, not laws.
                      Security Officers. The 1st First Responders.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Thanks, and back on topic ^.^

                        Originally posted by HotelSecurity

                        Wow...here I like to call myself a computer geek and I didn't even know this. lol! Thanks HotelSecurity! ^.^

                        And I've been discussing this with my boss, and have recently found in our security Comms Book this list of steps and standards:
                        Safety Tips for Approaching a Tweaker

                        1. Keep a social distance. Preferably a 7-10 foot radius. Once a person has been indentified as a potential tweaker, law enforcement officers should call for backup. Detaining a tweaker alone is not recommended.

                        2. Do not shine lights at him. The tweaker is already paranoid, and if he is blinded by a bright light, the tweaker is lightly to run or become violent

                        3. Slow your speech and lower the pitch of your voice. A tweaker already hears sounds at a fast pace and in a high pitch, and a side effect of the drug is a constant electrical buzzing sound in the background.

                        4. Slow your movements. This will decrease the odds that the tweaker will miniterpret your physical actions.

                        5. Keep your hands visible. Because the tweaker is already paranoid, if you place your hands where he cannot see them, he might feel threatened and could become violent.

                        6. Keep the tweaker talking. A tweaker who falls silent can be extremely dangerous. Silence often means that his paranoid thoughts have taken over reality, and anyone on the scene can become part of the tweakers dellusions.

                        A methamphetamine abuser is most dangerous when tweaking. Sleep deprivation plus extreme irritability make the tweaker very unpredictable. Law enforcement and health professionals should look for the following signs:

                        -Rapid Eye Movement
                        -Rapid Speech
                        -Unnatural and quick body movements

                        The tweaker who combines methamphetamine abuse with alcohol is even more difficult to detect. Rapid eye, speech, and body movement slow to an apparently normal speed. however, there are two ways to identify a tweaker using alcohol.

                        Observation: While the tweaker moves his eyes from side to side, the eyes jerk back and forth. This is referred to as horizontal-gaze nistagmus
                        Communication: If possible, inquire if the tweaker is also using alcohol.
                        This is the type of information (an almost scripted approach and guideline) that I find particularly helpful, as people on drugs tend to act completely different from people whom are sober.

                        Is there information like this available for CrackCocaine, Heroine, ecstasy, acid, or other drugs?
                        Last edited by Sarin; 03-24-2007, 12:30 AM. Reason: Additional Info
                        Well...at least it's not a desk job.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          I'm sure similar information can be found if you dig enough....

                          On a side note, I find it quite funny that your worksite documentation refers to them as 'tweakers'...
                          Corbier's Commandos - "Stickin it to the ninjas!"
                          Originally posted by ValleyOne
                          BANG, next thing you know Bob's your Uncle and this Sgt is seemingly out on his a$$.
                          Shoulda called in sick.
                          Be safe!

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Charger
                            I'm sure similar information can be found if you dig enough....

                            On a side note, I find it quite funny that your worksite documentation refers to them as 'tweakers'...

                            LOL! Well, that is the classification for the high that they are in. Tweakers are people who are in a stage of the high known as tweaking...having been awake for so long, they hallucinate, are paranoid, and could be coming down and are the most violent. ^.^ I've seen this work before (the one I wrote out) and yah...a lot of places refer to them as tweakers.

                            But it is funny. Until I started reading up on, I always thought it was an insult,
                            Well...at least it's not a desk job.

                            Comment

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