A Missouri woman is facing charges for stealing her sick daughter’s medicines. The Troy Missouri Police Department revealed on Wednesday that Carol Ballweg failed to give her dying daughter her pain medications because she took the drugs herself.
The Associated Press reported that the 46-year-old mother has been charged on Wednesday with four counts of stealing a controlled substance, and two counts of abuse of a vulnerable person.
The police claimed that Ballweg was the primary caregiver for her terminally-ill daughter, who is in hospice care and prescribed fentanyl and oxycodone for pain.
The medical staff has made numerous hotline calls regarding the 20-year-old patient’s care, particularly because Ballweg had been asking for her daughter’s medications to be filled ahead of schedule several times.
Concerns over these incidents prompted doctors to request a drug screen of the patient’s urine. The results, which were released on Sept. 7, showed that there is no trace of the prescribed pain medication in the patient’s system.
The Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services (DHSS) also conducted an investigation after receiving complaints from the patient’s home health provider.
The police then searched Ballweg’s home on Sept. 11. Ballweg, later on, admitted that she is addicted to opioids and is stealing her daughter’s painkillers.
“During the course of the investigation Ballweg admitted to having an addiction to opioids. Ballweg also confessed to taking CM’s oxycodone medication and using it herself,” the Troy Missouri Police Department said in a statement.
The judge set the bond at $100,000 cash, with the condition that Ballweg makes no contact with the victim.
Prescription opioids are often used for treating patients suffering from chronic and acute pain, but the use of these drugs come with risks, which include addiction, overdoses, and deaths.
The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said that the improper use of these drugs has become a growing problem throughout the United States. The agency cited the growing number of prescription opioid-related overdoses and deaths in the country. Between 1999 to 2016, opioid overdose claimed more than 200,000 lives in the United States.
“Drug overdose deaths, including those involving opioids, continue to increase in the United States,” the CDC said. “Overdose deaths from opioids, including prescription opioids and heroin, have increased by more than five times since 1999. Overdoses involving opioids killed more than 42,000 people in 2016, and 40% of those deaths were from prescription opioids.”