The opioid epidemic has been sweeping the nation and South Florida is just the setting of the newest story.
On May 7th, a South Florida doctor was charged with manslaughter as well as drug dealing and drug trafficking for prescription pain pills. Dr. Maria Elena Farinas was arrested by federal agents at her office in Palmetto Bay. She was transported to the Miami-Dade County jail with a bond of $100,000.
The cause for the investigation was rooted from the overdose death of a Leigh Anne Milazzo in March of 2018. The woman was a nurse who was found dead in her Key Largo residence by her husband, Dorian Milazzo. It was later determined that she died from an overdose caused by a combination of alprazolam and oxycodone. While investigating the scene, police found a bottle of oxycodone on the woman’s nightstand that was prescribed by Dr. Maria Elena Farinas.
Milazzo started taking prescription pain medication after a complication with a C-section. She also suffered from arthritis and mental health problems. If Milazzo had gotten holistic addiction treatment, it might have saved her life.
Further investigation found that Dr. Farinas has prescribed Milazzo 180 pills of Oxycodone in a month.1 But, it wasn’t just Milazzo’s addiction that the South Florida doctor was fueling. Text messages between the two parties revealed that they were, in fact, sharing the pills and Farinas was addicted herself. Milazzo wasn’t the only patient of Farinas getting unnecessary pills either. Dr. Farinas has a history of illegal prescriptions.
What We Can Learn from This Story
With opioid overdose death increasing from 8,048 in 1999 to an astonishing 47,600 in 2017, it is clear that the opioid epidemic is a major problem.2 What is interesting about this case is that the South Florida doctor was charged with manslaughter for the role in Milazzo’s accidental overdose death. As the number of similar cases continue to appear, doctors, nurses, and health practitioners will be held accountable for their role in knowingly providing illegal prescriptions to patients. With the stigma still surrounding drug rehab, many people are neglecting to get the professional help they need to overcome their addictions and the results could be devastating.
Unfortunately, drug overdoses are all too common, but with proper addiction treatment, these deaths could be avoided. Do not let this happen to you or your loved one. At Seaside Palm Beach, we are here to assist. Get addiction help today at our luxury treatment center in Palm Beach. Call us at 561-677-9374 to get started on your path to sober living.
- Miami Herald- Patient prescribed 180 pain pills a month dies from overdose, cops say. Doctor arrested
- National Institute on Drug Abuse- Overdose Death Rates