Report on Drug Abuse in Ohio

Just last month, Paul H. Volkman was sentenced to four terms of life imprisonment in U.S. District Court. His sentence resulted from a conviction for illegally prescribing and dispensing painkillers outside the scope of a legitimate medical practice that resulted in the deaths of four people between 2003 and 2005.

Volkman, a physician, ran three difference offices in Portsmouth, Ohio and one location in Chillicothe. Patients would see him for a brief visit and leave with a prescription for pain medicine, paying $125 to $200 cash for each visit. During his trial there was evidence showing that Volkman prescribed and dispensed millions of dosages of various drugs including diazepam (often brand named Valium), hydrocodone (often sold as Vicodin), oxycodone, alprazolam (Xanax) and carisoprodol (Soma). He was considered the largest physician dispenser of drugs in the United States from 2003 to 2005.

Volkman directed his patients to the East Main Pharmacy in Columbus which would fill the prescriptions. This pharmacy filled more than 5,500 prescriptions for high doses of oxycodone and other drugs in a six-month period. The pharmacist pleaded guilty to illegal distribution of oxycodone and in January 2012 and was sentenced to 27 months in prison.

A jury convicted Volkman in May 2011. He will spend many years in prison and he was also ordered to forfeit $1.2 million.

“Doctor shopping” is when a person goes from one doctor to another to get enough pills to abuse or sell. In some cities, there’s a concentration of these doctors, often working in pain management clinics and contributing to severe situations of drug abuse and addiction in their regions. The DEA did shut down Volkman and put him in prison but there are still many unscrupulous pain clinics operating across the country. 

If you or someone you love needs an Ohio drug rehab resource, call our hotline now at 1-877-862-4326. Our long term drug rehab programs are designed to fully rehabilitate the individual to a new life.