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Iowa Legal Update Lesson Summaries

2020 Lesson 04: Substance Use, Behavior, & Medical Emergencies - Part 2


Release Date:


This is Part 2 of a three-part online interpersonal perspectives course on Substance Use, Behavior, and Medical Emergencies.

Section four addresses involuntary commitment procedures for persons presenting a likelihood of serious harm to themselves or others as a result of alcohol or drug abuse. 

It includes definitions relevant to Iowa’s involuntary detention procedures for drug or alcohol abuse. It explains who may file an application for detention, treatment, and rehabilitation in an alcohol or drug abuse facility.

Section five provides an overview of behavioral signs of medical conditions. It explains the importance of officers recognizing behavioral indicators of medical conditions. The section describes how certain behavioral signs of medical conditions are associated with in-custody death. The lesson also describes how officers, like EMTs, can learn to generate a field impression of subjects and spot problem behaviors.

Section six addresses delirium. It defines delirium and explains its causes and its symptoms. It identifies the three medically recognized types of delirium: hyperactive delirium; hypoactive delirium; and mixed delirium. It explains the history and controversy surrounding “excited delirium syndrome.” The section identifies behaviors associated with hyperactive or excited delirium and provides several case study examples. 

Finally, the section provides guidance on the law enforcement response to people experiencing delirium.

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