In America, most of us have blind trust in the medical practitioners we see. What happens when doctors find themselves on the wrong side of the law? In Alaska, two medical practitioners disregarded the law and the health of their patients by supplying dangerous opioids that fed drug addictions. Nothing is more dangerous than the ones tasked with healing, causing harm to those who are already struggling.
Recently, two medical personnel, a doctor and a nurse practitioner, practicing medicine in Alaska were charged with prescribing patients with opioids they did not need. Allegedly, this activity occurred so frequently the doctor received the nickname of Candy Man. Many people were negatively impacted by these actions, worsening addictions, causing overdoses, and even deaths.
The alleged doctors involved were Lavern Davidhizer, age 74 and Jessica Joyce Spayd, age 48, both medical practitioners in Alaska. Both parties were arrested and subsequently charged with distributing painkillers. They are being blamed by federal prosecutors for significantly increasing Alaska’s current opioid crisis.
Jessica Joyce Spayd, by all accounts was extremely successful, owning the Eagle River Wellness practice, located in Eagle River, Alaska, as well as being a respected nurse practitioner. She abandoned her ethics and as a result has been charged with distributing narcotic substances causing death. The other doctor in question, Lavern Davidhizer has also been charged for the distribution of a scheduled controlled substance.
Spayd’s charges were allegedly a result of trafficking hydromorphone, oxycodone, methadone, and other narcotics, between 2014-2019. The drugs were allegedly given to approximately 450 patients, exceeding 4 million doses of the various opioids. As a result, it appears the drugs are closely related to multiple untimely deaths. Nineteen victims met their demise within one short month of filling the prescription, with an additional twelve victims passing away within 2 weeks. Five more victims passed nearly immediately following their prescription being filled, either the same day or the very next.
Davidhizar, AKA the Candy Man was responsible for overprescribing opioids to patients between the years of 2017 to 2019. During that time period, he prescribed over 700,000 opioid pills, acquiring a reputation for prescribing anyone these medications regardless of legitimate need. The FBI finally caught up with Davidhizer when they posted undercover agents, displaying blatant symptoms of addiction and minimal pain in comparison to the drugs they asked for. Despite these factors, the doctor did not hesitate to write a prescription for opioids.
Thankfully, the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration or the DEA became suspicious when they noticed prescriptions written too early, patients traveling unreasonable distances, as well as patients utilizing different names or pharmacies to have their prescriptions filled.
If convicted, both practitioners will face hefty consequences. If Spayd is found guilty of the most significant charges against her, she will spend a minimum of 20 years behind bars, while Davidhizer will serve no more than 20 years behind bars.