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Arrest of California Doctor Coincides with Uptick in Prescription Drug Overdoses

MALIBU, Calif., Jan. 10, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- The arrest on 01/05/2012 of Santa Barbara physician Dr. Julio Diaz has brought into sharp focus the upsurge of accidental overdose deaths from prescription medications. According to one of the nation's leading prescription drug abuse rehab centers, Dr. Diaz's arrest points to the dangers both of prescription drug abuse and "doctor shopping," the process of finding a physician who will prescribe medication for nonmedical purposes. Each of these activities can be deadly.

In the past two decades, prescription drug abuse has risen exponentially. Former White House Drug Czar Robert DuPont said, "The biggest and fastest-growing part of America's drug problem is prescription drug abuse. The statistics are unmistakable."

The abuse of pharmaceutical drugs such as OxyContin, Vicodin, Xanax, and even Fentanyl has coincided with a tremendous increase in accidental, fatal overdoses. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, most of the 26,000 fatal overdoses each year are caused by the misuse of prescription drugs. Medical and addiction experts are calling pharmaceutical addiction an unrecognized epidemic. 

"We've seen a tremendous increase in the number of people seeking treatment for prescription drug abuse," says CM2 CEO Richard Taite. "One of the more difficult parts of treating those addicted to prescription drugs is helping them to understand that they are in fact addicted to the pharmaceuticals they take. The pharmaceutical addict is not the picture of a traditional addict, but often a middle aged person with anything from back pain to anxiety to depression."

Equally dangerous to the drugs themselves are the doctors willing to prescribe highly addictive substances to those who do not have medical need for them. Addicts seek these physicians out by "shopping" until they find one who writes prescriptions freely. In the case of the Santa Barbara area doctor, he was allegedly known to his patients as the "candy man," a euphemism for someone who will prescribe any medication a patient wants, as if it is as harmless as giving out candy. 

Addiction researcher Dr. Constance Scharff said, "Doctor shopping is an insidious problem. The patients I've interviewed believe that if a doctor writes a scrip, the drug must be safe. These aren't street drugs; they're regulated by the FDA. What people don't realize is that these drugs are not safe when used for non-medical purposes, particularly when they are mixed or used in quantities exceeding dosage suggestions." 

Clinicians at CM2 recommend that it is important to get any prescription medications for you or a loved one evaluated on a regular basis. This helps ensure that dependence and addiction is caught in its earliest stages and thousands of unnecessary tragedies can be prevented.

About CM2:
CM2 offers top-notch care in a private setting with a multitude of options, for Xanax detox to alcohol treatment, focusing on both mind and body. For information about CM2's cutting-edge painkiller addiction treatment programs, please visit or call 1-877-752-0038.

Press Contact:

Daniel Volk

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