“I was employed at a state corrections facility. When I got charged with Felonious Assault and Kidnapping, my job put me on unpaid leave. Greg Robey fought hard for me and the State agreed to dismiss all the felony charges against me. I am now back on the job because of the hard work of Mr. Robey.” -T.J., Cleveland, Ohio
Pain management clinics perform a vital service for patients with chronic illnesses and acute injuries. Without pain medications, some patients would be unable to work or even handle everyday tasks. In some cases, untreated pain would be excruciating and unbearable.
However, not everybody who relies on the services of a pain clinic is a legitimate patient — drug-addicted individuals also frequent hospitals and doctors’ offices to score painkillers. Abuse of prescription medications has, in fact, become an epidemic. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), an average of 100 people in the United States die each day from a drug overdose, mostly involving prescription pharmaceuticals rather than illicit drugs.
Pain clinics have, thus, been subject to tighter restrictions and closer scrutiny. Although protecting vulnerable individuals from substance abuse is an important goal, the legislation and law enforcement response has also affected legitimate doctors, their staff and their patients. Healers often find themselves the target of criminal investigations:
Besides the threat of lengthy incarceration, pain doctors and staff face career-changing repercussions. Ohio HB 93, for example, places cumbersome restrictions on pain clinics and allows the pharmacy board to suspend a facility’s license without a hearing. The bill also expands access by the Ohio Medical Board and Ohio Board of Nursing to criminal information gathered by law enforcement agencies.
If you or the pain clinic where you work is under investigation, immediately consult with a criminal defense attorney who is knowledgeable about federal and state drug laws. Your career — and your freedom — may be at stake.