Psychiatrist arrested for patients overdose – Watch

Psychiatrist arrested for patients overdose - Watch

Psychiatrist arrested for over-prescribing narcotics after 36 patients die.

A Georgia psychiatrist has been arrested after 36 of his patients died, a dozen of whom died of prescription drug overdoses.

Psychiatrist Narendra Nagareddy was taken into custody after DEA agents raided his Jonesboro office on Thursday. Jonesboro is located in Clayton County, about 20 miles south of Atlanta.

WSB-TV Channel 2 reports that Nagareddy is accused of running a pill mill, including prescribing pain medications that are beyond his purview as a psychiatrist. Clayton County jail records show he is charged with unlawful prescribing of narcotics.

A mother says her daughter would be alive if a local psychiatrist had not given her two prescriptions.

Audrey Austin is one of 36 of Psychiatrist Narendra Nagareddy’s patients who died from an overdose.

“He’s charged with prescribing pain medication, which is outside his profession as a psychiatrist and not for a legitimate purpose for the patient,” said Clayton County District Attorney Tracy Graham Lawson.

Ruth Carr says Austin, her daughter, was one of Psychiatrist Nagareddy’s victims. She told Winne her daughter had just gotten out of rehab shortly before she died.

“It doesn’t get better with time and think that’s been long overdue with Dr. Nagareddy. And I knew that he was doing this with people other than my daughter, I knew that she wasn’t the only one,” Carr said.

Austin was a wife and the mother of two little boys.

“My little grandsons are never going to know their mother and never see her again,” Carr said.

Carr said Austin was the victim of a fatal prescription-drug overdose just days after she visited Nagareddy.

“She was an addict and he made it very easy for her,” Carr said.

Clayton County Police Chief Mike Register said the Thursday raid on Nagareddy’s office came after the DEA Tactical Diversion Squad made a presentation to Lawson, the chief and staff about its investigation of the psychiatrist.

He said both Clayton County officials were immediately on board.

“The guy may call himself a doctor, but if the allegations are true, I call him a drug dealer,” Register said. “His side of the story is he’s innocent and looks forward to defending himself in court.”

A warrant charges Psychiatrist Nagareddy with unlawful prescribing/ordering and focuses on prescriptions to Austin.

“Was he responsible for anyone’s death?” Winne asked attorney Steven Frey.

“We don’t believe so, no,” Frey said. “I have had several calls from the medical community showing their full support for him, so I expect that they will continue to do so and we will vigorously defend him.”

Carr said in mid-February 2014, Austin left a hospital after depression and anxiety treatment.

Documents suggest Feb. 20 she went to an office visit with Nagareddy. Feb. 21, she overdosed.

Austin’s cause of death was determined to be the “acute combined toxicity” of two of the types of medications Nagareddy had prescribed the day before her overdose.

“My heart isn’t big enough to feel sorry for him at all,” Carr told Winne.

Carr said in 2012, she filed a medical board complaint on Psychiatrist Nagareddy.

The interim executive director of the Georgia Composite Medical Board, Bob Jeffery, told Channel 2 Action News that the board is aware of our stories about Psychiatrist Nagareddy.

Jeffery said by law he can neither confirm nor deny that an investigation is currently open or has ever been opened.

Sportact Editors and Wire Services