Opioid Fraud

Dozens of medical professionals in Appalachia, a region hard-hit by the U.S. opioid crisis, have charge with writing hundreds of thousands of illegal prescriptions and committing healthcare fraud, federal prosecutors said on Wednesday. Sixty people, including 31 doctors, were accuse of illegally prescribing opioid drugs in exchange for cash and sexual favors in the rural, mountainous region stretching from Pennsylvania and West Virginia to Alabama and Louisiana.
Opioids are commonly prescribe because they are effective in relieving many types of pain. These medications are classify as narcotics and can be dangerous when abused. When use properly, opioids such as morphine have long know to help the severe pain that follows surgery and to alleviate the suffering of people with advance cancer.

Drugs use to treat chronic pain

Recently, morphine and similar drugs have use to treat chronic pain not cause by cancer. For many people, they have been remarkably helpful; for others, it either hasn’t work or as create problems over time. Taken as directed, opioids can manage pain effectively when use for a short amount of time. With long-term use, people need to be screen and monitor because a fraction of those treat; hence will develop an addiction disorder, abuse the drugs, or give them to others.

Long-term daily use of opioids leads to physical dependence; which is not to confuse with addiction disorder. An addiction disorder occurs in about 5% of people who take these pain; so relievers as direct over the period of a year. An addiction disorder can treat; but like those who misuse or illegally distribute prescription drugs; so the prescriber needs to be vigilant to identify and address these problems.

That is why everyone who uses prescription opioids needs to be screen and closely monitored. The opioid epidemic is the deadliest drug crisis in American history; also Appalachia has suffer the consequences more than perhaps any other region,” Attorney General William P. Barr said in a statement. Some 130 Americans die every day from an opioid overdose; so according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Opioid Strike Force

The charges were the result of an investigation by the Appalachian Regional Prescription Opioid Strike Force; so a joint law enforcement agency create in December to crack down on prescription fraud; so schemes that have contribute to the deadly drug epidemic. The charges were file against individuals in seven states: West Virginia, Tennessee, Ohio, Alabama, Kentucky, Louisiana, and Pennsylvania.
One doctor in Tennessee who called himself the “Rock Doc” was accuse of bargaining for sexual favors by prescribing opioids and benzodiazepines, federal authorities said in the statement. Another doctor in Alabama allegedly recruit prostitutes to become patients at his clinic and allow them to abuse drugs in his home.
Several doctors were accuse of writing pre-signed, blank prescriptions for controll substances without medically examining the patients that receive them. A few were accuse of running “pill mills,” including one in Ohio that allegedly distribute over 1.75 million pills between October 2015 and October 2017.
The period in which many doctors were accuse of illegally and excessively dispensing drugs coincide with a spike in overdoses in the United States. Opioid overdoses increase 30% between July 2016 and September 2017 in 45 states, according to the CDC.