Experts: Patients of doctors busted by DEA could be in danger

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

UPDATE: 

Dr. Larry Ley was found not guilty on Aug. 16, 2016. Prosecutors are reviewing their cases against the other men facing charges.

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INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (July 29, 2014) -- After a Noblesville doctor and three others were arrested by Drug Enforcement agents Friday, experts worry the patients taking Suboxone from them could be in danger.

FOX59 has spoken to patients who are searching for help when their current prescriptions run out.

Suboxone is intended to treat addiction, when used in conjunction with counseling and strict monitoring.

Agents say Dr. Larry Ley of Noblesville and his associates, though, were prescribing the drug for cash and often without any counseling or monitoring at all.

"It is a very real risk," Tobyn Linton, assistant director of Adult Services at Fairbanks Hospital, said.

suboxone webLinton said that if a patient is using Suboxone and suddenly stops taking it, they are likely to experience withdrawal symptoms. Those tend to be similar to flu-like symptoms but can be severe enough to drive a user back to drugs like heroin.

"It's a huge concern that individuals would be going back to street drugs ... because their tolerance now at this point has been altered," Linton said.

Dr. Ed Kowlowitz with the Center for Pain Management prescribes Suboxone in a small number of cases for those who run the risk of abusing other prescription drugs.

Kowlowitz warned that when you do seek out help, you should always be visiting a reputable doctor who does thorough appointments and follow-up.

"It should never be a quick visit of, 'Here's your (prescription),' and then taking their money. It should be a real doctor's visit," Kowlowitz said.

Linton wants people to know that help is available.

You can call Fairbanks Hospital at 800-225-4673 or visit them online here to see if you qualify for their programs.

You can also try the Midtown Methadone Clinic or Indianapolis Treatment Center.

There are other services available. To search in your area, go to the SAMHSA search tool at the link here.

20 comments

  • Dave

    Those people knew what they was doing ! Run in hand the ass hole some cash and dash home to get high how the hell does that help ! Now Dr feel goods gone they want somebody to feel sorry and hand out more goodies , if the junkies can’t kick it and need this stuff for real it needs to be a hospital setting ! Really passing out drugs for people to actually just get high , but yet my f**** knees are killing me ! DAMN drug addict bastards !

    • Mer

      Wow Dave… Don’t you know that patients using Suboxone DO NOT get high off of it??? It is a tool used to slowly wean patients off of opiates in order to minimize withdrawal symptoms. Also, if you are living with chronic pain, you might want to get help with that rather than taking it out on people you don’t even know.

      • Amy

        thank you Mer!!! Dave you need to slow your role and be taken down a couple notches…….you obviously dont know shit about addiction….so get back on your high horse and go get educated. You shallow “bastard!”

      • brandy riggs

        Some people need educated on addiction.. I swear always quick to cut someone down when they have no clue what its like . Praise god some of you dont have the problem ….I dont but I have compassion for those that do…I have taken the time to find things out and go to meetings and get educated ! Really if its none of your concern probably should just not say anything

      • Henry Reid

        The Fed is dumping illegals in Indiana.
        We have to stop this madness. Google this: NUMBERSUSA .
        Once you are registered (join us), go to the “action board”

      • Dave

        Wow Mer ? It don’t get you high ? Well I wonder then why would they say to be used with counseling and STRICK monitoring ? And if they run out they just run out to street drugs just for the hell of it ? We have a relitive who got it and he melted it down some how and shot it up his arm with a needle and was loving life ! Yes he’s a nasty as junkie like the rest of them dead beats ! So you and Amy keep on making exuses for these folks and we will all feel better when one kills one of your elderly family members for their medications it will all be ok ! Don’t get high on it my ass , Shit for brains

    • YOUR MISSING THE POINT

      People do abuse suboxone by snorting, plugging, and injecting it. It’s meant to be used short term to wean you off of opiates in conjunction with therapy. These cash and grab doctors aren’t helping anyone. They are just supplying suboxone that people will abuse and sell for a profit. Again no one should feel sorry for a drug addict for their poor life choices and we should all be tired of the crimes this human debris commit against us to afford their addiction.

      • Mer

        No, YOU’RE (notice the apostrophe and then the “RE? It means “you are.” Your means something else genius) MISSING THE POINT. Just because doc was bad doesn’t mean that ALL of his patients were bad. ALL Suboxone doctors have patients that misuse and sell the drug. The POINT is that at least some of his patients had to have gone to him b/c they really wanted help. It is not their fault the doctor was crooked. NOT ALL SUBOXONE PATIENTS ABUSE AND SELL THEIR MEDICATION!!!! With only so many available doctors to go around perhaps this man was the only one that would “help” them? I think if it were me I would trust a doctor… They are authority figures every bit as much as a policeman or a teacher. Idk… I just have the capacity for empathy that others do not I guess…

      • danieladougan

        If you read the probable cause affidavit in this case, you will find that the initial information that tipped off investigators something was awry was a series of patient complaints online and to other physicians about Dr. Ley only taking cash and not really providing any counseling or monitoring. The patients were complaining because they were sincerely trying to overcome their addictions, and he was overprescribing Suboxone just to get them hooked and rake in the cash.

  • brandy riggs

    My husband was a patient and he was required to go to counseling once a mth and had drug screening regularly

  • kris

    My mother was put on this once she told her Doctor she didn’t wanna receive pain pills anymore that she wanted actual help with her back (surgery) the Dr. Prescribed Suboxone saying once off pain killers they could look into more help. 2 years later my mother has been off pain killers and no Dr wants to help her for her pain because all they see is Soboxone…but boy howdy thanks to a no good Dr my mom sure suffers from the addiction of Suboxone

    • kris

      No tears should be shed for the people abusing the drug and the Dr. But the Dr who are giving it to patients who actually want help and are being prescribed something not even made for them is wrong!

  • Marie

    Yes you can get high off of these. If you take enough. I know several people who started taking these and it’s taken over their lives. It’s all they care about. And not to mention the side effects. Hair loss, no sex drive, and you loose your emotions. You become numb to everything around you and stop caring about the ones you love. My ex boyfriend (now my ex bc of these) his dr just hands him the scripts. Of 60 a month!! I don’t think doctors realize what they are handing out and addictive these are. Not to mention they don’t show up on a lot of drug test.

  • Dave

    Oh ok Mer ! I thought we was missing the point ? And I thought YOUR point was you don’t get high on it ? But NOW its if you MISUSE it ? I wouldn’t think any one would do that you genius ! Stick to one debate at a time retard , you SIAD it does NOT get you high now its some people abuse it , what happens when you fucking abuse it ? Nobody on here said there was not honest people who needs and truely wants help moron I simply stated for those I believe a hospital setting would be more appropriate to monitor the medication ! WOW

  • FL

    I was a patient there. My last visit was last Wednesday. Due to needing a prior auth I wasn’t able to fill my prescription. Now I’m sick after 2 months of being clean. I went to the worthless website above. All the dr’s are scared to help it seems. So it looks like i have to do something I don’t want to,I have kids and cannot afford to be sick. I went to counseling, NA and AA as required. Now I have no help. Thanks a lot.

    • Dave

      thanks a lot to who FL ? the doctor ? ME ? nobody got you hooked but your self dumb ass ! pull your self up by your boot straps and act like your a damn mother ! if you got kids stop with the poor me BS and put them 1st ass wipe , putting your kids on the side while you worry about this doctor and getting some drugs is pathetic if you really have been clean 2 months its time for you to get on with your life and make up some time with your kids that you lost parting!!!!!! what are you going to do that you don’t want to ? run done to the street dealer ? that’s really going to help them eat dinner shit for brains

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