The chief of police has already dubbed a psychiatrist, who was arrested after 36 of his patients died, “Doctor Death.” Dr. Narendra Nagareddy, a psychiatrist in Jonesboro, Georgia, was arrested last Thursday by DEA (Drug Enforcement Administration) agents who raided his offices following a series of complaints and, especially, after his 36 patients died. According to a report from New York Daily News, at least 12 were killed by an overdose on prescription medication.
Speaking with WSB-TV Channel 2 News, Clayton County police chief Mike Register issued the following statement regarding the shocking case.
“He’s a psychiatrist in Jonesboro who has been overprescribing opiates and benzodiazepine, and the last several years has had a multitude of overdoses and overdose deaths,” Register was quoted as saying. “People come to this person for help, and instead of getting help, they’re met with deadly consequences. If the allegations are true, he is Dr. Death, no doubt about it.”
— Cleveland 19 News (@cleveland19news) January 15, 2016
According to documents filed in court, it has already been established that 36 patients died while they were being treated by Nagareddy. Many patients of the psychiatrist also confessed that they obtained prescriptions of certain substances from him without having a real medical need.
“He’s charged with prescribing pain medication, which is outside his profession as a psychiatrist and not for a legitimate purpose for the patient,” Clayton County District Attorney Tracy Graham Lawson explained.”The search warrant [alleges] 36 of his patients have died, 12 of whom were autopsied with cause of death being overdose on prescription medication.”
“The guy may call himself a doctor, but if the allegations are true, I call him a drug dealer,” Register said. “His side of the story is he’s innocent and looks forward to defending himself in court.”
According to a report in September 2015 from the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention), prescription drug overdoses are becoming a real “epidemic.”
“The United States is in the midst of a prescription painkiller overdose epidemic,” the report reads. “Since 1999, the amount of prescription painkillers prescribed and sold in the U.S. has nearly quadrupled, yet there has not been an overall change in the amount of pain that Americans report. Over-prescribing leads to more abuse and more overdose deaths.”
The report states that problematic prescribing practices are a leading contributor to epidemic, thanks to doctors who put drugs in the hands of patients who abuse them, and/or people who then resell them to drug addicts. A big part of the overdose problem results from prescription painkillers called opioids –powerful narcotic pain medications such as oxycodone (OxyContin) and hydrocodone (Vicodin), which are often prescribed for pain management after surgery or an accident. Since they are substances that can create a strong addiction, quitting the drugs can be extremely difficult for the patient. As a result, many are never free from addiction and often end up dying because of this.
— WMC Action News 5 (@WMCActionNews5) January 16, 2016
In recent years, there has been an alarming number of arrests involving doctors who over-prescribed or illegally prescribed drugs to their patients. Recently, in December of last year, a two year investigation lead to the arrest of Ludlow doctor Fernando Jayma. He was arrested for allegedly over prescribing opioid medications, and was charged on 19 counts of false health care claims, and one felony count of larceny.
According to New England Public Radio, Jayma is currently ranked as the 2nd highest opioid prescriber in the state.
Ludlow, Mass., Doctor Arrested, Described As 2nd Highest Opioid Prescriber In The State https://t.co/hDht8Xp1Ya
— N.EnglandPublicRadio (@wfcr885) December 2, 2015
[Image via Twitter]