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Pregnant Addict Given Drugs In Jail

August 2, 1986

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) _ Jailers must supply drugs to a pregnant addict awaiting trial on prostitution charges to avoid the risk of aborting her fetus, officials said Saturday.

Dilaudid, a synthetic narcotic, was prescribed for Lori Diane Cohea, 24, by doctors at Metro General Hospital, said Dr. Joe Bistowish of the Metro Health Department.

Ms. Cohea, who is four months pregnant, was being held in lieu of $50,000 bond following her arrest Thursday for alleged prostitution.

The drug is being administered by health department workers at the jail, Bistowish said.

Taking a pregnant addict off Dilaudid could cause a miscarriage, he said, even though continued drug use could cause the baby to be born addicted, he said.

Metro Vice Squad detective Ed Rigsby said he was surprised with Ms. Cohea’s treatment.

″We see lots of prostitutes who are both addicted to drugs and pregnant, and what the doctor usually does is take them off immediately,″ Rigsby said. ″I’ve never in my life heard of keeping one on the drug.″

Although the drug has a street value of $90 to $100 a tablet, it costs only about $1 each for a prescription, Bistowish said, adding that Ms. Cohea takes about four pills a day.

She will not be allowed to keep any remaining pills once she leaves the jail, he said.

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