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Huntington Beach detox facility where man died is closing - exclusive

August 6, 2013 12:00:00 AM PDT
A Huntington Beach detox facility where a young man died is shutting down following an Eyewitness News investigation.

Jason Redmer, 28, was found dead at West Coast Detox Services in Huntington Beach in April 2012. His cause of death is still a mystery. But state investigators found serious wrongdoing inside the home.

Among the allegations is that Redmer and other rehab patients were given highly-regulated drugs without a prescription. West Coast Detox has agreed to shut down and surrender its license.

Each day since Redmer's death, his mother Lynne, says she has prayed that West Coast Detox would close. That day has come.

"This has been nothing short of a miracle for us to have some closure to know that place is going to be shut down," said Lynne Redmer.

Under an agreement with the state Department of Alcohol and Drug Programs, or ADP, West Coast Detox will give up its license by Sept. 15.

Eyewitness News first told you about the facility in 2011 when neighbors complained about drug paraphernalia on their property. Back then, West Coast's executive director, Don Ramsey, said he was intensifying searches of clients.

Five months later, Redmer died just four days after entering the facility to try to detox from drugs and alcohol.

"He passed away because of this. No parent ever wants to see their child go before them," said Lynne Redmer.

The Orange County coroner ruled his death "undetermined." But a state investigation followed. The state's accusation said staff gave Redmer highly regulated drugs without a prescription before seeing a doctor.

A police report shows Redmer admitted to staff he got into a stash of old medication kept in an unlocked attic, but instead of getting him assessed at a medical facility, West Coast chose to monitor him.

The accusation says failure to get him medical help contributed or caused his death. So, too, did the facility's failure to destroy the old "dead meds."

In a previous interview, West Coast's attorney, Tracy Green, said none of the alleged violations contributed to Redmer's death.

"In the past, West Coast was not as vigilant as it should have been with respect to locking up the medications and destroying them on a regular basis. All of that has been changed," Green said in April.

West Coast planned to fight the closure at a hearing this fall until this recent settlement.

"There was not any new information that led to this decision, it was simply a business decision by West Coast Detox to close its facility," Green said in a statement.

Lynne Redmer says she thinks there is more to the story.

"To just give up your business that brings in a lot of money, I believe there's more to it than that," she said.

She continues to search for answers, but she said her son has received some justice.

"The reality is the same. Jason is gone," she said. "Hopefully other people won't have to go through this."

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