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Doctors, Nurses, & Diversion

Health Care Professionals are not immune from the opioid epidemic that seems to be sweeping the country.  Doctors and Nurses are just as susceptible to opioid addiction as anyone, as the attached Channel 11 News story shows.

The Nurse who was interviewed for this story was diverting from her employer hospital and made a statement admitting to that diversion.

However, even though it appears that her story has a happy ending, that happy ending is more frequently not the case.  As a lawyer who represents Doctors and Nurses suspected of diversion of controlled substances, a word of caution: IF YOU ARE DIVERTING, DO NOT MAKE AN ADMISSION OF THAT DIVERSION TO ANYONE.

Diversion is a Felony offense under the Pennsylvania Controlled Substance Drug Device and Cosmetics Act, Title 35 Pa.C.S.A. Section 780-113(a)(12) and (f).  Conviction of this crime will cause an automatic suspension of a medical or nursing license for years regardless of the criminal penalty, even if that penalty is Probation Without Verdict.

Do not admit diversion to anyone under any circumstances before speaking to a lawyer qualified to handle medical and nursing license defense.  If you are uncertain what to do, the safe option is to talk to a qualified lawyer to protect yourself before you speak to anyone else including and especially Hospital Administrators, Human Resources, Attorney General Narcotics Agents, Investigators from the PA Dept. of State and Police.  Silence is the wise choice, and could save your license.

Joseph A. Paletta, Esq. 4126064144


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