MD Death Shows How Medical Professionals Become Addicts


Marianne Woessner, a North Carolina nurse and midwife, sees drug addicts with good jobs and from good families nearly every day. This week, says the Baltimore Sun, her daughter, Carrie Elisabeth John, died after apparently injecting herself with buprenorphine while trying to get high with her boyfriend. The couple were postdoctoral fellows at the University of Maryland School of Medicine, working on the same floor studying the effects of drug addiction even as, police said, they grew marijuana in their home and used narcotics purchased over the Internet from a Philippine pharmacy that shipped pills hidden inside stuffed animals. “These are two brilliant people who made a stupid error in judgment,” Woessner said.

Dr. Donald Jasinski, chief of the center for chemical dependency at Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center, said it should come as no shock to see doctors or other medical professionals addicted to drugs, especially those who study narcotics and are around the chemicals daily. “Anybody who handles drugs think they know how to control it,” he said. “Perhaps the highest risk group for opiate dependency is doctors.”

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