As pain management becomes an ever increasing part of modern medicine, prescription painkiller use and abuse continues to rise. Although federal authorities have increased oversight of opioid prescription and distribution, there are still many healthcare providers who abuse their ability to distribute these drugs. This past week it was reported that a Long Island doctor, Dr. Noel Blackman, was arrested for distribution of opioids. He was intercepted by federal authorities at Kennedy Airport aboard a Guyana bound plane with $30,000 hidden in his suitcase.
Dr. Blackman practiced surgery and pain management from various offices in New York and is presently the executive dean of academic affairs at Georgetown American University medical school in his native Guyana. He was previously the minister of health in Guyana.
Long Island doctor, according to reports, is suspected of illegal distribution of narcotics because of his drastic rise in oxycodone prescriptions over the past year. In 2013 Dr. Blackman wrote prescriptions for 2,100 pills and in 2014 for 3,800 pills. In 2015, he increased oxycodone prescriptions by 9,600%, writing prescriptions for 365,000 pills.
The doctor's secretary, Ms. Torres, from the Bronx, was also reportedly arrested on conspiracy to distribute narcotics. Torres was stopped and searched at Kennedy Airport in December upon her return from visiting Dr. Blackman in Guyana. She was found with over 40 oxycodone prescriptions. Torres claimed a third party would deliver a list of names for which Blackman was paid $300 each name to write a prescription. Dr. Blackman's arrest is the most recent in a series of cases concerning Long Island doctors accused of illegally distributing prescription painkillers.