CINCINNATI, OH (AP/FOX19) - Federal authorities say they have charged 60 people, including 31 doctors, for their roles in illegal prescribing and distributing of opioids and other dangerous drugs.
The action announced Wednesday in Cincinnati and Washington resulted from the federal Appalachian Regional Prescription Opioid Strike Force and includes defendants in at least seven states.
They are Alabama, Kentucky, Louisiana, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Tennessee and West Virginia.
Authorities say the 60 include a total of 53 medical professionals tied to some 350,000 prescriptions and 32 million pills.
In one case, a doctor who is alleged to have been the highest prescriber of controlled substances in Ohio, and several pharmacists are charged with operating an alleged “pill mill” in Dayton.
According to the indictment, between October 2015 and October 2017, the pharmacy allegedly dispensed over 1.75 million pills.
U.S. health authorities have reported there were more than 70,000 drug overdose deaths in 2017, for a rate of 21.7 per 100,000 people. West Virginia and Ohio have regularly been among the states with the highest overdose death rates as the opioid crisis has swelled in recent years.
If you are seeking help in Ohio, call 1-877-275-6364. If you’re in Kentucky seeking treatment, call 833-8KY-HELP.