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Ohio Doctor Gets 6-Year Prison Term For Illegally Prescribing Controlled Substances

It can be argued that the term “controlled substance” is an odd one. After all, the wording suggests the ability to keep a substance under control. You could also construe the term to refer to the ability to remain in control while using such a substance. A soft drink, for example, is high in sugar, but doesn’t particularly have a major impact on one’s behavior immediately after being consumed.

The true meaning of “controlled substance”, as you’re likely aware, couldn’t be a further definition from the assumptions made above. Controlled substances are, in fact, drugs that have a high potential for abuse or dependence. In other words, users have little control over how impactful the drugs are. Naturally, there are laws surrounding the manufacturing, possession, usage or distribution of controlled substances.

There are numerous regulations surrounding controlled substances.

They typically involve strict licensing and monitoring of their manufacture, distribution and prescription by healthcare professionals. The intent is to ensure that these substances are used for legitimate medical purposes as well as to prevent their misuse or diversion for illicit activities. The specific laws and regulations regarding controlled substances can differ significantly between countries, states and jurisdictions.

Controlled substances can be broken down into a number of categories. They include narcotics (e.g., heroin, morphine), stimulants (e.g., amphetamines, cocaine), depressants (e.g., barbiturates, benzodiazepines), hallucinogens (e.g., LSD, psilocybin mushrooms) and certain prescription medications with abuse potential (e.g., opioids, sedatives).

Opioids are controlled substances.

Opioids are drugs named for their ability to act on the opioid receptors in the body. Those receptors are generally found in the brain, spinal cord and gastrointestinal tract. The drugs are widely used for their pain-relieving properties. However, opioids are well known to be misused, leading to addictions and overdoses.

Among the legally available, but highly abused, opioids are oxycodone, hydrocodone, morphine, codeine and fentanyl. These pain relievers can lead to many life-threatening complications, including respiratory arrest, when abused.

Ohio doctor gets 72 months in prison for illegally prescribing opioids.

As reported by the Northern District of Ohio branch of the U.S. Attorney’s Office yesterday, Jeffrey Sutton will be spending the next six years in prison. The Niles, Ohio-based physician pleaded guilty to illegally prescribing his patients opioids and other controlled substances, illegally distributing controlled substances and healthcare fraud. The 65 year-old was also sentenced to 3 years of supervised release, a $5,200 special assessment, a $20,000 fine and restitution of $148,870.79.

“According to court documents, from January 2015 through January 2022, Sutton knowingly prescribed medically unnecessary controlled substances to patients outside of the usual course of professional practice and without legitimate medical purpose,” details the report, “In doing so, Sutton fraudulently billed health care benefit programs for office visits and the controlled substances illegally dispensed.”

Sutton also admitted to engaging in sexual acts with patients. Some of the acts took place during office visits. As well, he confessed to delivering dozens of oxycodone pills to the home of one of his patients with whom he was engaged in a relationship. These drugs were given outside the course of treatment and without a valid prescription.

Are you an attorney who is currently working a health care fraud case?

The clinical experts at Allegiant Experts can help you! Contact us today to schedule a complimentary consultation. Please don’t hesitate to give us a call at 407-217-5831. You may also email us at

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