Tags Posts tagged with "Oxycodone"

Oxycodone

By Tracey Farrell

In 2002, my 16-year-old son Kevin had surgery on his shoulder for a football injury. He was prescribed 60 Vicodin pills with no other instructions but to take one or two of them every four to six hours for pain.

I didn’t know they weren’t like antibiotics, and you weren’t supposed to take all 60. He was still in pain, so they gave him 60 more. Well, guess who is now addicted to them? He was buying them during lunch.

This is the high school quarterback. His girlfriend is the cheerleading captain. He is beautiful, loving, fun and funny. His friends love him. His teachers and coaches love him. He has not an enemy in the world. He graduates. He works. He is a great kid.

Kevin chose to smoke pot instead of taking the pills soon after high school, but at some point he went back to the pills — especially since I was on him all of the time to stop smoking. He had multiple concussions over his high school football career. After his last one, I saw a change in his personality. He was easily angered, depressed, anxious — all things he was not before.

I didn’t know at the time that marijuana and opioids help make all of those symptoms so much better. The drugs make them disappear. I didn’t know that the only enemy he did have was the one within himself.

Tracey Farrell and her son Kevin Norris in 2010. Photo from Tracey Farrell
Tracey Farrell and her son Kevin Norris in 2010. Photo from Tracey Farrell

When Kevin went back to the pills, he began snorting them this time. A lot of them. Once I saw a powder residue on his glass desk and, only knowing what I saw on TV, I put it on my tongue to see if it would numb it.

Nope, not cocaine.

I knew deep down something was going on. He didn’t shower as often or take care of his teeth. Changes in his habits were starting to happen.

These Oxycodone pills are expensive, and make you painfully sick when you don’t have them. An addict becomes so desperate that they will beg, borrow and steal to get them — literally. Eventually when you have exhausted stealing your family’s available cash, you steal their jewelry, sports memorabilia and anything else of value you can sneak out of the house. You write bad checks from your mom’s bank account. Eventually you realize there’s an alternative available and you turn to heroin. It’s cheap, and readily available. You just have to put money in your mailbox and drugs appear moments later.

That point happened some time in 2011. I assume he started snorting it before he shot it.

Nine years in and I am still clueless, uneducated, unaware to so much of it. Kevin never, ever looked high in front of me. I was missing spoons, which are used to melt the heroin down to a soluble form, but I still thought maybe they were thrown out by mistake? Yes, he had been to rehab, but I didn’t know that it didn’t fix you. I didn’t know that me giving him no option but to enter rehab wouldn’t work. I didn’t know that he had to want to be in recovery.

I learned how to be manipulated. I enabled everything. I believed every lie he told me and would hand over money in fear he would be killed for the money he owed.

Eventually, he must leave the house. Kevin would live in his car, on which I was now making the payments and insuring. It’s winter and I cannot fathom the thought of him in a car at Christmas, so I get him an apartment. I sent his stepfather over many times to see if he was alive when I couldn’t get in touch with him. I even called 911 on him when I thought he was suicidal, which resulted in a short hospital hold. I started to understand that he does not want this for himself, but doesn’t know how to stop. He fears withdrawal, and I hear his pain and cries when he begs me for money because he is so sick. He is eventually hospitalized for a blood infection. I realize I can no longer keep him in that apartment.

I clean the place out.

He didn’t need much food. The only thing in the fridge was water. I find all the things he has used as a tourniquet. There is an amazing amount of plastic garbage bag drawstrings removed from bags, Q-tips everywhere with the cotton taken off which are used as filters. So many water bottle caps. So many syringes.

“There were times I threw money into his car so angrily when he asked me. I struggled between loving him and hating him.”

I didn’t want my son to die, but I’m realizing I’m making it more comfortable for him.

Through most of his addiction he was highly functioning, always holding down a job. This was no longer the case.

He gets out of the hospital and is back to his car. I’m giving him $20 a day. He gets food stamps and Medicaid from the Department of Social Services. I find he sells what’s on his food stamp card. I pump gas in his car, but I do not hand over more cash. There were times I threw money in his car so angrily at him when he asked.

I struggled between loving him and hating him.

He began living in a hotel with his dealer and got arrested for possession of a syringe. He’s assigned a public defender, but of course Mom pays the fees and it’s knocked down.

But a few days prior, he made the choice on his own — which is key — to seek help.

He made the calls on his own, instead of me doing all of the legwork, to enter South Oaks Hospital in Amityville. His third try at rehab. But now, he wants it.

I went to a family meeting about 10 days in.

There he is. My son, my real son. Thank you, thank you and thank you.

He was enrolled in a 28-day program. He went to Mainstream House in Riverhead, a sober house. We do family things together again. We shop, we go to lunch, dinner. He wanted to be around us again. I haven’t had this in years. We laugh, we cry.

He got kicked out of sober living for having Ambien, a prescription drug, because he had a hard time sleeping. I let him back home. Kevin has a new job, a new girlfriend. He seems happy.

Tracey Farrell, a Rocky Point resident and founder of North Shore Drug Awareness Advocates, displays her luminaire in memory of her son Kevin during the third annual Lights of Hope event in Port Jefferson on Aug. 31. Photo by Nora Milligan
Tracey Farrell, a Rocky Point resident and founder of North Shore Drug Awareness Advocates, displays her luminaire in memory of her son Kevin Norris during the third annual Lights of Hope event in Port Jefferson on Aug. 31. Photo by Nora Milligan

I didn’t go to the classes I should have. I didn’t learn that someone new to recovery does not want their past thrown at them. One day at a time is their mantra. Yesterday is the past. He’s going to his meetings on a regular basis, but now that he is working, that starts to not be as often. Anything that goes missing I automatically accuse him. He wants a new phone because his is old and cracked. I bought him a new one and he “lost” it. I still tell him that if he didn’t sell it he would have it. He tells me he is working an honest program and that he has told me everything — including that he did not sell the phone. I apologize and tell him I am proud of him.

Kevin is working for a company which does party rentals.

One Sunday, in September 2012, he came home looking tired. He was thrilled that they gave him a $100 tip. They even gave him the leftover cake, which we of course ate together. We spoke of the cotton candy on his sneakers, because he worked the cotton candy machine. He thought it was fun.

The next day, his sister found him dead in bed. It was an accidental overdose.

They say money is a trigger.

I will never know what led him back. I know now I didn’t cause it. I couldn’t control it and I couldn’t cure it. I prepared myself that this day could come, but I thought he was in the clear. Our very last conversation was about cotton candy, one of the things I craved most when I was pregnant with him.

I still have the cotton-candy-covered shoe laces. I miss him every day. I still struggle with not doing the things I now know I should have done, and I try to teach people every day to not make the same mistakes I did. Learn from me please. Let me tell you anything and everything that may help you or your loved one. It helps me to help you.

I just went to a celebration meeting of one of his best friends celebrating one year of sobriety on Sunday, and he said, “I think he may have died so I can live.”

Tracey Farrell, formerly Tracey Budd, is a Rocky Point resident who, since her son’s passing, educates others on drug abuse and assists in finding help for those who are struggling, or know someone who is struggling, with addiction. She is the founder of North Shore Drug Awareness Advocates and also a 2015 TBR Person of the Year.

Narcan, a drug that stops opioid overdoses. File photo by Jessica Suarez

Concerned that a loved one will overdose on drugs? Suffolk County is hosting training classes over the next few months to teach residents how to identify overdoses of opioid drugs — such as heroin, Vicodin and Percocet — and use the anti-overdose medication Narcan to rescue victims.

The county’s parting gift for people who show up to the program is an emergency resuscitation kit that contains Narcan as well as a certificate of completion.

The first class, on Feb. 4, will be a bit of a hike away, at the Mattituck firehouse on Pike Street from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. (RSVP to ihateheroin631@gmail.com).

There will be another in Greenlawn on Feb. 12, from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. at the Harborfields library on Broadway (RSVP to Sheila Sullivan at 631-271-8025 or sullivans@nysa.us).

A third will take place on Feb. 18 in Wyandanch, at the Wyandanch Community Resource Center on Straight Path from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. (RSVP to 631-643-1960 or mthomas@townofbabylon.com).

Following a March 3 course in Bohemia, at the Connetquot Public Library on Ocean Avenue from 6 to 7 p.m. (RSVP to 631-665-2311), the county is holding one at the Setauket firehouse on Nicolls Road. That event, on Thursday, March 31, will run from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. Participants can RSVP to 631-854-1650 or seth.squicciarino@suffolkcountyny.gov.

Does not compute
Early in the morning on Oct. 23, an unknown person entered an unlocked business on Oakland Avenue in Port Jefferson and stole a computer.

NoGood
An unknown person stole a woman’s wallet from her purse on Oct. 25 while the woman shopped at the HomeGoods on Nesconset Highway in Port Jefferson Station.

Got my eye on you
Police said a dispute broke out between two males on Main Street in Port Jefferson on Oct. 24, during which one punched the other in his face, near his eye. It was not clear if the victim needed medical attention after the altercation.

Left unlocked
An unknown person entered an unlocked 2005 Toyota Sequoia on Harbor Beach Road in Mount Sinai and stole assorted items between Oct. 22 at 9:30 p.m. and Oct. 23 at 3:30 a.m.

A clean getaway
At some point between Oct. 22 and Oct. 23, unknown people entered a residence on Norwich Road in Sound Beach through a basement window and stole a washing machine from the residence.

Beer me
Police said on Oct. 23 a man entered a store on Middle Country Road in Centereach and took a 12-pack of beer without paying.

Getting to work
On Oct. 24, an unidentified person stole work gloves and cell phone accessories from the Centereach Mall in Centereach.

Smashing pumpkins
An unknown person smashed a pumpkin in front of a residence on Ambassador Lane in Selden on Oct. 23, then threw another pumpkin through the front window of the residence. Police didn’t know if the individual was acting alone or with others.

Cold case
Police said three people took off in a yellow sedan after stealing five coats from the Kohl’s on Nesconset Highway in Selden on Oct. 23.

Drove my Chevy to the jailhouse
Police arrested a 23-year-old woman from Centereach for driving while ability impaired on Oct. 23, after pulling her over for failing to maintain her lane while driving east in a 2004 Chevy on Chereb Lane in Port Jefferson Station. The officers arrested her at the scene at 1:15 a.m.

Larceny tour
Police arrested a 39-year-old man from Farmingville on four charges of petit larceny, after he hit different stores throughout the county. According to police, on Sept. 11, the man stole assorted merchandise from the Walmart in Centereach, then stole a snow blower from the Kmart in Farmingville 10 days later. On Oct. 5, he stole a vacuum from the Walmart on Middle Country Road in Middle Island, and on Oct. 20 stole toys from the Kmart on North Ocean Avenue in Farmingville. Police arrested the man at the 6th Precinct two days after the final incident.

Gone with the ganja
A 38-year-old woman from Mount Sinai was arrested for criminal possession of marijuana on Oct. 23, after Suffolk County police executed a search warrant at her residence on Island Trail in Mount Sinai. Officers found more than one pound of marijuana. Police did not elaborate on why the search warrant was issued.

Stay focused
A 33-year-old woman from Selden was arrested for unlicensed operation of a vehicle on Oct. 23, after she was pulled over while driving a 2005 Ford Focus down Route 25 in Centereach.

Low maintenance
On Oct. 25, a 25-year-old woman from Mount Sinai was arrested for driving while ability impaired. Police said the woman was driving a 2013 Hyundai east on Route 25A in Port Jefferson shortly after 1 a.m., when police pulled her over for failing to maintain her lane.

Targeted approach
A 42-year-old woman from Centereach was arrested for petit larceny on Oct. 25, after she stole clothing and toys from the Target on Pond Path in South Setauket.

Man gets batty
Police arrested a 50-year-old man from East Setauket for menacing after he prevented the female passenger in his 2002 Toyota from leaving the car on Oct. 26. The driver then exited his car with a baseball bat and hit her car. The incident occurred on Old Town Road in East Setauket.

Stolen apparel
A 36-year old man from Plainview was arrested after police said he stole assorted apparel from the Smith Haven Mall in Smithtown on Oct. 24. He was arrested at 1:20 p.m. and then, once he was taken to the 4th Precinct, police said he had an altered New York State identification card. He was charged with second degree forgery of an official document.

Smoke sign blows away
It was reported that business signs from Aroma Smoke Shop in Smithtown were damaged by four unknown teens at 4 p.m. on Oct. 24.

Xanax o’clock
Police said a 24-year old woman from Northport was in wrongful possession of Xanax at 5:55 a.m. at 4 Parsons Lane in Nissequogue on Oct. 22. She was charged with seventh degree criminal possession of a controlled substance.

Not so lucky
Police said an unknown white man entered Gulf gas station on Nesconset Highway and fled with scratch lotto tickets on Oct. 24 at 7 p.m.

Oxy-co-don’t
A 17-year old man from Smithtown was arrested after police said he was in possession of oxycodone at Commack Liquors on Route 25A in Commack on Oct. 23 at 6:05 p.m. He was charged with seventh degree criminal possession of a controlled substance.

Rims gone
It was reported that two sets of rims and tires were stolen from a 2016 Cadillac Escalade at a dealership in Smithtown sometime between 10 p.m. on Oct. 20 and 8 a.m. on Oct. 21

Bad contact
On Oct. 22, a 23-year old woman from Commack was arrested after police said she hit someone on the head on Route 454 in Commack at 3 a.m. She was charged with second degree physical contact.

Home Depot items have new home
A 47-year old man from East Northport was arrested on Oct. 22 after police said he stole miscellaneous items from Home Depot on Jericho Turnpike in Commack at 10 p.m. He was charged with petit larceny.

Wrong turn
On Oct. 24, a 40-year old man from Bay Shore was arrested after police said he made an illegal left hand turn on Route 25A in Smithtown and they discovered he was driving drunk. He was charged with driving while intoxicated.

Boozing and speeding
A 36-year old man from Centereach was pulled over for speeding on Route 347 in Commack when it was discovered that he was driving drunk at 1:50 a.m. on Oct. 22. He was charged with driving while intoxicated.

Toke at the traffic stop
A 25-year-old man from Dix Hills was arrested when police said he had marijuana in plain view during a traffic stop on the corner of Lebkamp Avenue and Brennan Street in Huntington on Oct. 24. He was arrested at 7:50 p.m. and charged with fifth-degree criminal possession of marijuana.

Welcome to New York
Police said a woman was punched and kicked in the face on New York Avenue in Huntington on Oct. 24 at 3:12 a.m. She was transported to Huntington Hospital for treatment of a broken nose.

Under control
On Oct. 21, a 20-year-old man from Central Islip was arrested after police said he had marijuana and another controlled substance on him at the corner of Park Avenue and Pulaski Road in Huntington Station. He was charged with unlawful possession of marijuana. Police would not specify which other controlled substance the man had on him, nor why he was not charged with unlawfully possessing it.

Wild times
Someone reported that a wallet containing cash, a credit card and a driver’s license was stolen from a counter in Wild by Nature in Huntington on Oct. 23.

High times at the beach ramp
A 19-year-old man from Commack was arrested at 7:54 p.m. on Oct. 21 in the parking lot of the Hobart Beach boat ramp in Eaton’s Neck for having marijuana and another unspecified controlled substance on him. He was charged with seventh-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance.

Oh no in the Volvo
Someone entered a 1991 Volvo on Fort Salonga Road in Huntington on Oct. 23 and took medication and cash.

The nail polish remover
Police said a 30-year-old woman from East Northport stole 75 bottles of nail polish from a Walgreens on Larkfield Road in East Northport on Oct. 23. She was charged with petit larceny.

An unknown person stole numerous bottles of nail polish at 9:30 a.m. on Oct. 21 from Walgreens on Larkfield road in Commack.

Puffing at the park
A 17-year-old man from Huntington was arrested after police said he possessed marijuana in plain view in Elwood Park in Huntington on Oct. 23 at 12:35 p.m. He was charged with fifth-degree criminal possession of marijuana.

On the fence about staying
Early in the morning on Oct. 24, a 41-year-old man from Centerport was arrested after police said he hit a fence at a residence on Dunlop Road, at the intersection with Greenlawn Road in that neighborhood, with a 2008 Nissan and fled the scene. He was charged with leaving the scene of a crash and property damage.

Minor problem
A 69-year-old man from Lindenhurst was arrested after police said he was selling a can of beer to an underage person on Oct. 23 on New York Avenue. He was charged with first-degree unlawfully dealing with a child.

Dr. Mitchel Fagin faces federal indictment, charges saying he distributed oxycodone, meth and more

Stock photo

A doctor from Smithtown faces federal charges accusing him of doling out drugs illegally, the U.S. Department of Justice said this week.

Dr. Mitchel Fagin was indicted Friday morning on charges that he illegally distributed oxycodone, methodone and alprazolam, highly addictive prescription pain medications, said Kelly T. Currie, acting United States attorney for the Eastern District of New York. Currie and Special Agent-in-Charge James J. Hunt of the Drug Enforcement Administration announced the charges on Friday.

“At the trial the government anticipates calling as witnesses several women who confirmed that Fagin accepted sexual favors in exchange for controlled substance prescriptions,” Assistant U.S. Attorney Lara Gatz stated in court records.

Fagin, 63, was arraigned over the weekend before United States District Judge Joanna Seybert at the United States Courthouse located in Central Islip, where he pleaded not guilty to the charges. He surrendered Friday to the Long Island District Office Tactical Diversion Squad, which is comprised of federal agents and officers of the Nassau County, Rockville Centre, and Port Washington police departments.

His attorney could not be reached for comment.

The 12-count indictment and public filings alleged that between May 2010 and September 2014, Fagin, a pain management doctor, issued multiple controlled substance prescriptions without a legitimate medical purpose to individuals he knew were addicts. Fagin is also alleged to have issued controlled substance prescriptions in exchange for sexual favors from female patients.

“Dr. Fagin allegedly used his prescription-writing privileges not to heal, as was his duty, but to victimize vulnerable patients,” Currie said. “Doctors who issue prescriptions without a legitimate medical need are violating the law and will be held accountable.”

The doctor was previously investigated by the Office of Professional Medical Conduct resulting in at least one suspension of his medical license.

If convicted of the current charges, the defendant faces a maximum sentence of 20 years’ imprisonment and a $1 million fine.

“As detailed in the indictment, Dr. Fagin’s house was a medicine chest for opioid addicts to fuel their addiction. Dr. Fagin allegedly abused his position as a medical practitioner and prescribed medications for non-medical needs,” Hunt said in a statement over the weekend. “I commend the Long Island District Office Tactical Diversion Squad and the U.S. Attorney’s Office, Eastern District of New York, for their diligent work throughout this investigation.”