Posts Tagged Xanax
Doctor charged with murder in overdose of multiple patients, prescribed over 27,000 medications in three years
Wednesday, March 21, 2012
By: Ethan A. Huff
[NaturalNews] A California doctor accused of carelessly dispensing prescription drugs to patients who may not necessarily have needed them is facing murder charges following the deaths of several of these patients. The U.K.’s Daily Mail reports that Dr. Hsiu-Ying Tseng, 42, prescribed more than 27,000 medications to patients over a three-year period, which translates into an average of 25 prescriptions a day, which resulted in several of their deaths.
Vu Nguyen, 29, of Lake Forest; Steven Ogle, 25, of Palm Desert; and Joseph Rovero III, 21, of San Ramon all met their fate after obtaining prescriptions from Tseng for various pain and anxiety symptoms. According to records held by the Osteopathic Medical Board, Tseng failed to properly examine these three young men in accordance with care guidelines, and proceeded to just give them the dangerous drugs for no medical reason.
The prescription opiate drugs oxycodone (OxyContin) and hydrocodone (Vicodin) were among those linked to the men’s deaths, as were certain benzodiazepine drugs and the anti-anxiety drug Xanax. But because Tseng allegedly already knew that her prescribing methods were linked to causing patient deaths prior to the more recent deaths, prosecutors have charged her with second-degree murder and 21 other felony counts related to prescribing prescription drugs for no legitimate medical need.
“This case was beyond anything else we have ever seen,” said Los Angeles County District Attorney Steve Cooley in a statement, noting that the case was heavily investigated prior to the serious charges being filed. “Dr. Feelgoods who knowingly over-prescribe drugs for no medical reason other than someone asks for the drugs and pays the doctor a staggering amount of money will be dealt with severely” (http://latimesblogs.latimes.com).
Tseng is currently being held on $3 million bail. If convicted, she could face life in prison.
In a similar case, Dr. Harriston L. Bass, Jr. of Las Vegas was recently arrested for murder after a patient to which he sold prescription drugs died. In that case, the Nevada Attorney General’s office conducted a thorough investigation for six months before levying the same second-degree murder charge that Tseng received, as well as 21 counts of sale of a controlled substance, and six counts of possession for the sale of a controlled substance (http://www.8newsnow.com).
“There’s a new prosecutorial focus on these pill mills, which are doctors that are creating a cottage industry of addicts,” added Steven Clark, a legal analyst from South Bay, Calif., about such cases (http://sanfrancisco.cbslocal.com).
The Quiet Epidemic: prescription drug abuse destroys millions of lives
The Baltimore Sun
There isn’t much attention paid to prescription drug abuse, except perhaps when a Hollywood star dies from an overdose. However, it is estimated that nearly one in five Americans has used prescription drugs for nonmedicinal reasons, and 15 percent may be abusing prescription drugs. This silent epidemic has become the leading cause of addiction.
This week, the Maryland Chapter of the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence and the University of Maryland Medical Center sponsored the annual Tuerk Conference, a gathering of 1,200 health professionals working in the field of addictions to focus on treatment and prevention of prescription drug abuse. Confronting and debunking the common myth that prescription drugs are less deadly and less addictive was one of the items on the agenda.
The dangers of prescription drug abuse are growing at an exponential rate. Between 1992 and 2002, the number of prescriptions written increased by 61 percent, but the number of prescriptions written for opiates increased by almost 400 percent. Opiates reflect three-quarters of all prescription drugs abused. Actor Heath Ledger had Vicodin (hydrocodone), OxyContin (oxycodone), Valium (diazepam), and Xanax (alprazolam) in his bloodstream when he died. All are legal opiates.
According to a report this month by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, hospitalizations for poisoning by prescription opioids, sedatives and tranquilizers jumped 65 percent from 1999 to 2006. One-third of new addicts report that their first drug experience was with prescription drugs.