Armed with More Opioid Prescription Data, Justice Department Aims to Stop Fraudulent Doctors

PITTSBURGH (AP) — The pain clinic tucked into the corner of a low-slung suburban strip mall was an open secret. Patients would travel hundreds of miles to see Dr. Andrzej Zielke, eager for what authorities described as a steady flow of prescriptions for the kinds of powerful painkillers that ushered the nation into its worst drug crisis in history. At least one of Zielke's patients died of an overdose, and prosecutors say others became so dependent on oxycodone and other opioids they would crowd his office, sometimes sleeping in the waiting room. Some peddled their pills near tumble-down storefronts and on blighted street corners in addiction-plagued parts of Allegheny County, where deaths by drug overdose reached record levels last year. But Robert Cessar, a longtime federal prosecutor, was unaware of Zielke until Justice Department officials handed him a binder of data that, he said, confirmed what pill-seekers from as far away as Ohio and Virginia already knew. The doctor who offered ozone therapy and herbal pain remedies was also prescribing highly addictive narcotics to patients who didn't need them, according to an indictment charging him with conspiracy and unlawfully distributing controlled substances. Zielke denied he was overprescribing, telling AP he practiced alternative medicine and many of his patients stopped seeing him when he cut down on pain pills. His indictment in October was the first by a nationwide group of federal law enforcement officials that, ...
Source: JEMS Administration and Leadership - Category: Emergency Medicine Authors: Tags: News Administration and Leadership Source Type: news

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CONCLUSION: Overall, PP patients felt the benefits of opioid use outweighed the risks, and using opioid medication sig-nificantly improved their quality of life. This may be partly due to the poor efficacy of other nonprescription medications and complementary therapies in managing PP beyond short-term relief. PMID: 32091612 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]
Source: Journal of Opioid Management - Category: Addiction Tags: J Opioid Manag Source Type: research
Addiction is a chronic condition that leads to overdose and death. Addiction ruins lives, families and devastates communities. If you are suffering from addiction, it can be normal to ask yourself hard questions such as, “will I suffer from addiction forever? Is there a cure for addiction?” While there is no magic wand that can cure addiction, it is a treatable condition. When addiction is treated, people can go on to live normal, happy, healthy lives. While addiction may cause a lot of destruction and fractured relationships in its path, people can repair and move on from them as well. The Cure for Addiction:...
Source: Cliffside Malibu - Category: Addiction Authors: Tags: Addiction Addiction Recovery Complementary Therapies Comprehensive behavioral treatment Healthy Eating and Recovery Mental Health Sober Living and Aftercare Substance Abuse addicted to alcohol addiction help addiction recovery programs Source Type: blogs
Ryan R. Kelly1,2†, Lindsay T. McDonald1,2†, Nathaniel R. Jensen1,2, Sara J. Sidles1,2 and Amanda C. LaRue1,2* 1Research Services, Ralph H. Johnson VA Medical Center, Charleston, SC, United States 2Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, Medical University of South Carolina, Charleston, SC, United States The significant biochemical and physiological effects of psychological stress are beginning to be recognized as exacerbating common diseases, including osteoporosis. This review discusses the current evidence for psychological stress-associated mental health disorders as risk factors for os...
Source: Frontiers in Psychiatry - Category: Psychiatry Source Type: research
There are few subjects that can stir up stronger emotions among doctors, scientists, researchers, policy makers, and the public than medical marijuana. Is it safe? Should it be legal? Decriminalized? Has its effectiveness been proven? What conditions is it useful for? Is it addictive? How do we keep it out of the hands of teenagers? Is it really the “wonder drug” that people claim it is? Is medical marijuana just a ploy to legalize marijuana in general? These are just a few of the excellent questions around this subject, questions that I am going to studiously avoid so we can focus on two specific areas: why do...
Source: Harvard Health Blog - Category: Consumer Health News Authors: Tags: Complementary and alternative medicine Drugs and Supplements Health Pain Management Source Type: blogs
PITTSBURGH (AP) — The pain clinic tucked into the corner of a low-slung suburban strip mall was an open secret. Patients would travel hundreds of miles to see Dr. Andrzej Zielke, eager for what authorities described as a steady flow of prescriptions for the kinds of powerful painkillers that ushered the nation into its worst drug crisis in history. At least one of Zielke's patients died of an overdose, and prosecutors say others became so dependent on oxycodone and other opioids they would crowd his office, sometimes sleeping in the waiting room. Some peddled their pills near tumble-down storefronts and on blighted s...
Source: JEMS: Journal of Emergency Medical Services News - Category: Emergency Medicine Authors: Tags: News Administration and Leadership Source Type: news
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Source: Science - The Huffington Post - Category: Science Source Type: news
Safe at home The opioid epidemic is truly devastating. Drug overdoses (mostly opioids) are a leading cause of death in the US, topping guns and car crashes. People don’t want to become addicted to drugs or die from overdoses, so why does it happen so often? It often starts with a doctor writing a prescription for someone complaining of chronic or acute pain or following a surgical procedure. Little thought is given to the number of pills prescribed; extra pills are either consumed by the patient or left lying around in the medicine cabinet where they may be taken by family members or house guests who have develo...
Source: Health Business Blog - Category: Health Management Authors: Tags: Culture Pharma Policy and politics Uncategorized opioids Source Type: blogs
The sad news of rockstar Prince's death was followed by reports that prescription opioids were found at the scene. The latest news reports Prince was possibly addicted to pain medication and his autopsy found the painkiller Percocet in his system. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), we're in the midst of a growing epidemic of prescription painkiller overdoses. More than 22 million American adults are struggling with addiction and substance abuse. The following research suggests yoga is a promising complementary therapy for substance abuse and addictions. Yoga Helps Substance Depende...
Source: Healthy Living - The Huffington Post - Category: Consumer Health News Source Type: news
We have been talking about the opioid addiction in America for several months now, from Congressional hearings, to new Centers for Disease Control (CDC) guidelines, to what solutions exist for patients and their loved ones. In response to the epidemic, CNN hosted a program entitled “Prescription Addiction,” hosted by Anderson Cooper and Dr. Sanjay Gupta. The program featured guests including: addicts of opioids and heroin, family members of addicts who are no longer “themselves,” family members of addicts who have passed on due to their addictions, physicians, treatment center owners, and others, a...
Source: Policy and Medicine - Category: American Health Authors: Source Type: blogs
It makes sense that the primary goal of pain treatment should be to reduce pain. However, a recent editorial in The New England Journal of Medicine makes a strong case for looking beyond pain intensity when evaluating what is “successful” pain management. The “balancing act” of managing chronic pain Here is the problem: For people with chronic pain, the pain affects nearly all aspects of their lives. But at the same time, treatments to relieve chronic pain also have the potential to influence many aspects of a person’s life. Our best pain-relieving drugs have lots of unpleasant side effects. E...
Source: New Harvard Health Information - Category: Consumer Health News Authors: Tags: Health Addiction Arthritis Back Pain Cancer Migraines Pain Management Behavioral Health chronic pain managing pain Source Type: news
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