Physicians Are Part of the Problem With Prescription Abuse

by: Mike Miller

This is the third in a series of blogs looking at the role of physicians in prescription medication abuse. It is hard to fathom that doctors, motivated purely by greed and with no concern for their patients, are flooding patients with prescription medication.

In one investigation in it was determined that a North Jersey doctor bilked Medicaid to pay back hundreds of thousands of dollars he owed to members of the mafia. What is this “The Sopranos?” As reported in

The investigation also discovered a chiropractic office operating out of a seemingly abandoned building in Camden that had boarded-up windows and a battered front door in a normally desolate area of the city that it described as suddenly springing to life on Tuesdays.

Dr. Randy Zeid , during a 19-month period, dished out an estimated street value of nearly $10 million of the narcotic drug oxycodone. It was a regular “painkiller-prescription emporium.”

He has yet to be arrested for any crime.

Here are a few tips for trying to alleviate the problem with prescription medication abuse.

  • Stronger oversight of the medical community, particularly around establishing explicit prescription standards for physicians.

  • Tougher financial and criminal penalties for offenders.

  • Better regulation of medical practice ownership and management.

  • Creation of a statewide task force to assist in investigations involving prescription pill and heroin cases.

  • Boost regulation of prepaid cellphones, a key tool for illicit drug dealers.

Police in New Jersey estimate that at least 50,000 small glassine packets of heroin flow into the county every week, retailing for between $5 and $10 apiece on the street, compared to as much as $80 per pill for the strongest dosage of oxycodone.

What do you think should be done? I am open for suggestions.