Tuscaloosa Doctor Arrested for Over-Prescribing Pain Medication
A two-year investigation by the West Alabama Narcotics Task Force resulted in the arrest of a Tuscaloosa doctor today. The Tuscaloosa Police Department released news of the arrest of 69-year-old Dr. James Fullerton Hooper via a post on the TPD Official Facebook page this afternoon.
According to the TPD, the West Alabama Narcotics Task Force initiated an investigation into Dr. Hooper's prescribing practices after receiving multiple complaints; concerned citizens reported that Dr. Hooper was prescribing "massive" amounts of pain medication to patients without the necessary medical verification.
The Office of the Tuscaloosa County District Attorney issued an indictment against Dr. Hooper during last week's Grand Jury session. Dr. Hooper was indicted on multiple counts including five counts of Unlawful Distribution of a Controlled Substance and five counts of Trafficking in a Controlled Substance, to wit: Opium.
Dr. Hooper was arrested on that indictment this morning. He is being held in the Tuscaloosa County Jail on a $20,000 bond. The Tuscaloosa Police Department said that the investigation into Dr. Hooper is ongoing with hundreds of charges pending for unlawful distribution of a controlled substance and trafficking in illegal drugs.
"Pharmaceuticals are the cause of more drug related deaths than cocaine, heroin, or any other illicit drug combined. These deaths are attributed to individuals consuming multiple prescription narcotics and/or combining them with other illicit drugs and/or alcohol," stated West Alabama Narcotics Task Force Commander Captain Wayne Robertson.
Captain Robertson stated that he is concerned that prescription drugs are replacing marijuana as the first drug of choice for young adults, and that prescription drug abuse has become a very serious problem across the United States.
"West Alabama Narcotics Task Force will continue to investigate any leads they received concerning fraudulent distribution of prescription medication," Captain Robertson stated.