This week Dr. Julio Diaz was arrested by federal agents he was allegedly trafficking in hug quantities of powerful painkillers. He was held without bond after a court appearance in Orange County, Santa Ana California.
For some time now some of the emergency room doctors at the hospital saw repeated instances of Dr.Diaz’s patients hooked on prescriptions drugs and they could not understand why it took so long to arrest Dr. Diaz.
Some California inpatient drug rehabs have no doubt had to help Dr. Diaz's "patients".
Dr. Chris Lambert, an emergency physician at Cottage health System was one of the doctors to flag Diaz’s prescribing methods. He was quoted as saying, “I don’t really understand what happened there, Physicians these days get censured for bad record keeping – the medical board is on them immediately for making an error in a chart. But what happened in this case? How did it slide along?”
Diaz has not been charged in connection with deaths that are linked to this situation but it all remains under investigation. The Dr. is accused of illegally prescribing large amounts of painkillers to patients who didn’t need the drugs and for accepting sexual favors as payment from some of the women.
Dr. Diaz is among more than 230 doctors charged since 2003 with federal criminal counts in relation to prescription drug abuse and this is according to DEA stats. There is increasing investigation of dirty doctors running so-called pill mills and deaths from prescription drug abuse have gone way pass traffic fatalities in the Unites States.
Dr. Diaz was supplying Oxycontin, Vicodin and Norco to addicts. Some of the patients diverted their pills to the black market or suffered fatal overdoses. The officials reported that one man who died in November was prescribed 2,087 pills in the six weeks before he died.
People traveled hundreds of miles to see Diaz. He specialized in pathology and geriatrics at his Santa Barbara office.
Santa Barbara drug rehabs should be alert to prescription drug abusers they are newly having to treat.