Police busted a woman who impersonated nurses at pharmacies in New Mexico and used fake patient names to get her hands on large quantities of painkillers.
Authorities arrested 33-year-old Christina Talamante during a sting operation in Bloomfield, NM, July 7. Talamante allegedly called Kare Drug Store to fill a script for a fake patient, telling the pharmacist she was a nurse from an area doctor’s office. Under the false pretext Talamante ordered 60 pills of 50 milligram Tramadol, an opioid pain medication, reports EMS 1.
When the pharmacist called the doctors office to confirm the prescription, the office said no prescription for Tramadol was written by a doctor at their practice. The pharmacist subsequently alerted authorities to the situation.
Officers from the Bloomfield Police Department confronted Talamante when she arrived at the drug store to pick up the pills. She told officers she takes up to 10 painkillers a day, exceeding the maximum suggested dosage, after getting addicted to opioids following a car accident in 2006.
Talamante said she quickly became addicted to her prescribed painkillers and started ripping off pharmacies in Colorado to acquire the pills. She later moved to New Mexico and began illicitly obtaining painkillers from pharmacies at Walmart and Safeway stores, in addition to Kare Drug Store. She faces two felony counts for attempting to acquire the pills while posing as a nurse.
An inspector general report released July 6 by the Department of Health and Human Services shows doctor shopping for painkillers continues to be a problem in states throughout the country. 401 medical prescribers were found to be enabling doctor shopping patients by issuing massive doses of opioids to bill to Medicare.
Drug overdoses kill one person every 11 minutes in the U.S. and are now the leading cause of accidental death for Americans under 50.
A study by STAT estimates that the annual death toll from opioids will rise by roughly 35 percent between 2015 and 2027 in the U.S. Their analysis predicts that up to 500,000 people could die from opioids over the next decade. The experts agree that, even in a best-case scenario, the crisis will not visibly start to subside until after 2020.
Content created by The Daily Caller News Foundation is available without charge to any eligible news publisher that can provide a large audience. For licensing opportunities of our original content, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.