Federal and state law enforcement officials recently announced the arrest 98 individuals, including two doctors and a nurse, as part of a new crackdown on prescription drug abuse.
“It’s no longer some addict on a street corner peddling marijuana or cocaine,” said Brooklyn U.S. Attorney Loretta Lynch. “It’s a person in a white coat with an air of authority.” Lynch said the epidemic of prescription drug abuse has changed the landscape for narcotics enforcement in New York City and Long Island, requiring new strategies to deal with the problem.
Dr. Eric Jacobson of Great Neck, L.I. was charged with conspiracy to distribute oxycodone. Dr. Jacobson prescribed thousands of pain pills to David Laffer, the man who murdered four people last year in a Suffolk County pharmacy. Also arrested was Baldwin, L.I. internist Dr. William Conway, whose “patients” paid him $40 for a prescription of oxycodone after having only their blood pressure checked.
Those arrested also included a woman who traveled about 300 miles over the course of one month for the purpose of “doctor shopping.”
Officials vowed to monitor suspicious numbers of patient-doctor visits in brief time periods and share the intelligence among the prosecutors’ offices. Lynch said there are now more deaths attributed to prescription drug abuse than heroin and cocaine combined.