Houston TX Drug News: Potentially lethal drug cocktail excessively prescribed

06/02/2010 // West Palm Beach, Florida, USA // Sandra Quinlan // Sandra Quinlan

Houston, TX—Six Harris County-based doctors were placed at the top of the list in writing prescriptions for three notorious drugs, which notably produced a “heroine high” in users who combined all three. The disturbing discovery was made through a Texas Department of Public Safety (TX DPS) tracking system, which was enacted in connection with a new state monitoring law, as reported by DallasNews.com.

The six Harris County doctors each prescribed from 23,097 to as many as 43,383 prescriptions for the three drugs within a 15-month period, according to DPS records.

DPS was made aware of the staggering number of prescriptions after a law required pharmacies to report all prescriptions written for the three highly addictive drugs. Authorities have allegedly begun using DPS records as a means of cracking down on pain clinics that wrote excessive prescriptions for the drugs.

According to former president of the Texas Pain Society, Dr. C.M. Schade, doctors have no justifiable medical reason to prescribe patients all three drugs.

The three drugs are hydrocodone (Vicodin), alprazolam (Xanax), and carisoprodol (Soma). The combination of all three drugs was referred to as a powerful drug cocktail of sorts.

The drug-related issue is not a minor one, especially in the state of Texas. Pain clinic customers have even allegedly stood in a line that curved around the block. “Sometimes they hire security officers to handle the crowd. I’m not kidding,” Dr. Schade added. Such clinics have been noted for earning up to $3 million a year.

Wendell Campbell of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) contended residents from other states have been known to travel to Texas for the drugs. Records indicated several customers originated from Louisiana, Arkansas and Mississippi.

An attorney who filed lawsuits on behalf of the families of four overdose victims alleged, “You can find one of these pain clinics in a strip center in five minutes.” The four people who suffered fatal overdoses apparently obtained their prescriptions through Houston-based pain clinics.

Since the state took the initiative to monitor pain clinics, five Houston doctors were accused of scheming to unlawfully distribute the drugs throughout several local clinics.

A state law, which will become active in September, will reportedly require the following:

• Clinics in which 50 percent of patients are prescribed controlled substances will require certification by the Texas Medical Board.

• Clinics must be under ownership by a Texas doctor. That doctor will also be required to be on the premises of the facility for at least 1/3 of the clinic’s operating hours.

Legal News Reporter: Sandra Quinlan- Legal News for Texas Personal Injury Lawyers.

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