The ‘Rock Doc’ Who Prescribed 1.4 Million Pain Pills
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The patients of the nurse practitioner and aspiring reality star Jeffrey Young say he helped them like nobody else could. Federal prosecutors who charged him in a massive opioid bust say he overprescribed painkillers, often for “money, notoriety, and sexual favors.”  Young’s case provides a rare glimpse into the ways patients wind up addicted to the powerful painkillers fueling the national opioid epidemic. Branding himself “the Rock Doc” in a self-produced reality-TV pilot, Young would wear band T-shirts and blast music as he met with patients; he sometimes broadcast appointments and medical procedures on the live-streaming app Periscope. Off camera, Young allegedly prescribed 1.4 million addictive pills and had sex with female patients. Young was indicted on drug-trafficking charges in April 2019. He pleaded not guilty to the charges, and is currently in jail awaiting trial. “I had a lot of ‘Why on earth?’ questions,” the Atlantic reporter Olga Khazan says. “‘Why would he do this? Why would you go to this doctor? Why didn’t anyone try to put a stop to this?’ I just had a lot of questions about how could this happen.” Further reading: “The Hard-Partying, Rock-Obsessed Nurse at the Center of a Massive Opioid Bust” Be part of The Experiment. Use the hashtag #TheExperimentPodcast, or write to us at [email protected] This episode was reported by Olga Khazan and produced by Alvin Melathe. Editing by Katherine Wells, Julia Longoria, and Denise Wills. Fact-check by Michelle Ciarrocca and Jack Segelstein. Sound design by David Herman.
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