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Boulder man accused of defrauding hospital to get painkillers

Laws recognize substance addiction can contribute to the commission of a crime. Addiction does not excuse criminal activity although under certain circumstances, Colorado defendants are accepted into drug court programs. The intensive treatment and monitoring program can be an alternative to stiff punishments that fail to address the root of the problem.

Police recently brought charges against a 45-year-old Boulder County man, after hospital officials reported the man used deception to obtain painkillers. The complaint wasn't filed until Boulder Community Health learned the man was on probation for causing a multi-vehicle traffic accident in 2012. The injury accident occurred while the driver was under the influence of medical marijuana.

The accused man apparently told members of the hospital staff he fell off a ladder. A prescription for pain pills was written, although an exam produced no evidence of a fall injury. The man then lapsed into a seizure and was admitted to intensive care.

The defendant's self-proclaimed girlfriend came to the hospital and spoke with nurses. She told staff members there was no fall and no real seizure. The man also was not who he said he was.

The patient provided a friend's identity after claiming his wallet was lost. The hospital staff later found the man's wallet, confirming his true identity. The girlfriend said he deceived nurses to get pain medication.

The defendant did have a history of seizures before the 2012 crash, but medication he was taking to control the condition wasn't working. As part of his sentence for the vehicular assault conviction, a judge ordered the man to stop driving.

The hospital complaint led to charges for violating probation, criminal impersonation and suspicion of obtaining a controlled substance through fraud or deceit. Penalties for drug-related offenses can be severe, including activities related to prescription abuses. Criminal defense attorneys may be able to help addicted defendants get the treatment they need.

Source: Daily Camera, "Boulder police: Man on probation in 9-car crash lied to hospital to get pain medication" Mitchell Byars, Jul. 28, 2014

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