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Published On: Wed, Jun 12th, 2013

California doctor Daryl Westerback suspected of prescription drug crimes following second arrest

 A California doctor was arrested for the second time this year on suspicion of driving while under the influence of prescription medications.

Dr. Daryl Westerback now also faces accusations of treating patients while under the influence of prescription painkillers, authorities said Tuesday.

Daryl WesterbackWesterback was arrested on June 5 when a narcotics detective believed Westerback was driving under the influence, according to a statement from the Ventura County Sheriff’s Department.

New charges center around the death of one of Westerback’s patients who has died recently of a prescription painkiller overdose, said Ventura County Assistant Sheriff Gary Pentis.

“We have between 10 and 12 doctors who we feel are criminally operating within Ventura County,” Pentis said.

He said Westerback roused suspicions because of his drugged-driving arrests, and because he recently changed the focus of his practice from psychiatry to pain management.

“So as we looked into it, we found that last year, a patient died of an opiate overdose under his care,” Pentis said. “So we went to his office, and it appeared he had been practicing medicine while under the influence of opiates.”

Prosecutors have not charged Westerback, but the task force, along with the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency and the California Medical Board, were investigating his practice.

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- Catherine "Kaye" Wonderhouse, a proud descendant of the Wunderhaus family is the Colorado Correspondent who will add more coverage, interviews and reports from this midwest area.

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  1. CHRISTOPHER ALLEN HORTON says:

    I DO NOT LIKE THIS STORY BECAUSE THE GOVERNMENT IS TRYING TO CREATE THE IMAGE OF THIS “war on drugs” BEING A WORTHWHILE EFFORT WITH STIFF PENALTIES FOR ALL “wrongdoers.”

    BUT, SIMPLE LOGIC DICTATES THAT PEOPLE UNDERSTAND SOCIETY HAS SET-UP THE PRACTICE OF MEDICINE AS A GLORIFIED FIELD WHICH IS GUARANTEED TO PROVIDE FINANCIAL SECURITY TO THOSE WHO PRACTICE IT.

    LIKE IT, OR NOT, DEMOGRAPHY IS CHANGING. THE STRINGENT GUIDELINES WHICH ONCE “WEEDED-OUT QUACKS” FROM THE PROFESSION CAN NO LONGER BE SUSTAINED, DUE TO THE SHEER NUMBER OF APPLICANTS WHO HAVE POVERISHED BACKGROUNDS. IN OTHER WORDS, WHEN AN INDIVIDUAL LEAVES THE LOWER CLASS AND IS IMMEDIATELY “THROWN” INTO THE MIDDLE CLASS [WITH HIGH PROBABILITY OF REACHING THE UPPER CLASS], THERE WILL BE A NEED FOR PSYCHOLOGICAL ADJUSTMENTS [if you have lived your life with a ghetto mentality, prescription dope can help you cope with the social structure of the sustained rich].

    PHYSICIANS HOLD OTHERS’ LIVES IN THEIR HANDS; THE ONLY THING PATIENTS CAN HOPE FOR IS DOCTORS ARE NOT “DOPED-UP” WHEN WE – AS, INDIVIDUALS – VISIT.

    THAT LITTLE PRESCRIPTION PAD IS MORE POWERFUL THAN, ANY GUN.

    CHRISTOPHER ALLEN HORTON

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