12.5 years in prison for NYC physician who traded opioids for cash, cocaine and sex

New York City pain specialist Howard Adelglass, MD, was sentenced to 150 months in prison for a conspiracy that saw him prescribe more than 1.3 million oxycodone pills in a three year period, the Justice Department said March 8.

Dr. Adelglass operated a pain management clinic in Manhattan that he initially staffed with young women, the Justice Department said. He caused some of them to become addicted to oxycodone via illegal prescriptions.

He and his office manager solicited sex acts from especially vulnerable patients in exchange for illegal oxycodone prescriptions, the Justice Department said.

"Adelglass did not simply betray his medical oath; he destroyed lives and families and helped fuel the opioid epidemic gripping the nation," U.S. Attorney Damian Williams said, according to the Justice Department.

Dr. Adelglass wrote thousands of prescriptions for large amounts of opioids in exchange for cash, sex acts and cocaine, the department said. He prescribed oxycodone to people he knew did not need it, some of whom were already addicted to the drug or sold it on the street.

He continued to do so even after shown "clear evidence" of his purported patients' drug abuse and diversion, the department said. He was convicted in November after a two-week trial.

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