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The Opioid Crisis

New York doctor ‘prescribed fatal doses of addictive opioids that led to three fatal overdoses’

Dr.  Lawrence Choy is being arraigned in Manhattan Criminal Court in New York on Thursday.

A New York doctor has been charged with manslaughter for allegedly prescribing powerful opioids to three patients who died of overdoses — one of whom was ordered to take 24 pills a day.

Dr. Lawrence Choy, 65, was scheduled to appear in Manhattan Supreme Court on Thursday for arraignment.

Last week, he was extradited to New York from Wisconsin by drug enforcement officers.

Choy moved from New York to Sheboygan, Wisconsin, last year after investigators raided his medical practice in Flushing, Queens.

Dr.  Lawrence Choy is being arraigned in Manhattan Criminal Court in New York on Thursday.

Dr. Lawrence Choy is being arraigned in Manhattan Criminal Court in New York on Thursday.

Choy was arrested in March in his hometown of Sheboygan, Wisconsin

Choy was arrested in March in his hometown of Sheboygan, Wisconsin

Choy moved to Wisconsin after authorities raided his Flushing, Queens, medical practice last year

Choy moved to Wisconsin after authorities raided his Flushing, Queens, medical practice last year

Choy was extradited from Wisconsin to New York last week

Choy was extradited from Wisconsin to New York last week

Authorities say Choy illegally prescribed painkillers and other powerful substances to about 14 patients.

Three of the patients died of prescription overdoses.

Two of the dead — Eliot Castillo, 35, and Michael Ries, 30 — suffered fatal overdoses within three days of receiving their prescriptions from Choy, the government alleges.

Authorities say Castillo and Ries were given high doses of oxycodone, a powerful and addictive opioid pain reliever, and Xanax, an anti-anxiety drug.

When these drugs are taken together, they are thought to increase the risk of overdose.

Authorities say Choy illegally prescribed painkillers and other powerful substances, including morphine (see image above), to about 14 patients.

Authorities say Choy illegally prescribed painkillers and other powerful substances, including morphine (see image above), to about 14 patients.

Choy is charged with second-degree murder in connection with their deaths.

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A third patient, Daniel Barry, 43, also died of an overdose, according to authorities.

Castillo, a clothing store operator and father of two, was found dead on February 23, 2013, on a sofa in his mother’s home in Jamaica, Queens.

He died 11 months after he was first treated by Choy, according to authorities.

The cause of death was determined to be acute intoxication by the combined effect of oxycodone and alprazolam.

Choy also allegedly prescribed Castillo Percocet in addition to his other regimen.

Investigators found that in June 2012 alone, Castillo was prescribed 680 oxycodone pills.

One of Choy's patients who died was determined to have overdosed on the

One of Choy’s patients who died was determined to have overdosed on the “holy trinity” of drugs – oxycodone (see image above), alprazolam and carisoprodol, according to medical examiners.

Ries, who worked in car dealerships, died on March 23, 2014, at his family’s home in Hauppauge, Long Island.

Medical examiners found that he had overdosed on the “holy trinity” of drugs – oxycodone, alprazolam and carisoprodol.

Carisoprodol is a muscle relaxant that is also known as Soma.

This “holy trinity” is becoming particularly popular because it is known to produce a highly addictive “high” along with other extremely dangerous side effects, including depression of the central nervous system and respiratory system.

Investigators said Choy gave Ries four ‘holy trinity’ prescriptions, totaling 720 pills, three days before his death.

That makes 24 pills a day for a whole month – as prescribed.

Barry was found dead at his home in Suffolk County, Long Island, in January of last year.

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Investigators said Barry was treated by Choy, who prescribed three opioid painkillers at the same time — oxycodone, morphine and fentanyl patches.

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