Several doctors arrested in Carmel drug bust

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UPDATE: 

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

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CARMEL, Ind. (July 25, 2014) -- Patients of Carmel practice "Drug and Opiate Recovery Network," busted by drug enforcement agents Friday, said getting a prescription was as simple as showing up with cash.

Agents arrested Dr. Larry Ley and 10 others for allegedly running a lucrative ring selling the drug Suboxone across Indiana.

Suboxone is meant to slowly turn addicts off heroin or other opiates, but at least one patient told Fox 59 he was prescribed the drug simply for leg pain.

"Cash, that’s the only thing they (would) take. Cash, no checks either, no credit cards," that patient, whose identity Fox 59 concealed, said.

Another patient, though, said the Suboxone he took saved his life.

"My life, where I was a few years ago compared to once I got on the Suboxone ... I’m totally different. I’m clean now," that patient said.

Both patients told the same story detailed in court paperwork. They said that on the first visit to Ley's Carmel office, they sat in a group for a lecture from the doctor. After telling Ley what they had been taking and some other brief history, they paid $300 cash for the first prescription.

After that, patients said they would show up to one of Ley's clinics across the state once every two weeks with $80 cash.

The problem, according to agents, was that under the law, Suboxone is supposed to be prescribed under strict monitoring. Patients should be in intensive counseling and regularly drug tested.

Both patients told Fox 59 they were tested randomly and on most visits did not test at all.

"They (tested me) twice in the year and a half that I did it," one patient said.

For years, patients said they were not required to attend any counseling at all. Last November, they received a letter from Ley's office saying they must enroll in counseling once a month. They could pay $30 a session for in-office counseling or could simply prove they were seeing a counselor somewhere else.

Still, the patient who says Suboxone turned his life around said he worries about the people who Dr. Ley had treated - who he sees as the real victims of this case.

"In a week when all their prescriptions run out, I mean, they’re probably going to be calling whatever dealer they were going to before because they’re not gonna want to deal with withdrawal," that patient said.

To read the full court documents filed in this case, go to the link here.

If you were a patient of these clinics and need help, go to the website at the link here.

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