Denver area psychiatrist Howard Weiss has been indicted on 120 federal charges that include allegations he prescribed higher doses of psychiatric drugs without trying lower doses or alternative treatments first. At least one of his patients died of an overdose, according to the indictment, although he is not charged in that death.
He is also charged with prescribing addictive drugs to already-addicted patients and prescribing high doses of benzodiazepines to patients taking opioids, a combination of drugs that could prove fatal.
According to the Denver Post, the indictment alleges that Weiss prescribed pills — including amphetamines such as Adderall and benzodiazepines such as Xanax and Valium — to patients at dosages that were too high and without exploring other avenues of treatment.
The indictment alleges that, in one three-month period, one patient was prescribed 9,000 Adderall pills, 480 pills of the muscle relaxant Soma and 480 Xanax tablets.
Weiss has a criminal history. According to the disciplinary document on the Dept of Regulatory Affairs (DORA) website, in 1995 Weiss was suspended from practice in the State of Virginia after conviction on federal charges involving filing false and fraudulent billing claims of in-patient psychiatric services. He served his sentence of probation and paid a fine and restitution, and his license was later reinstated in Virginia.
Weiss was granted a license to practice in Colorado in 2003. In 2019 he once again faced disciplinary action after the Colorado Medical Board reviewed information that Weiss “simultaneously prescribed multiple controlled substances in high doses to multiple patients” and “permitted patients to make determinations regarding their prescription medications despite clear evidence of abuse or misuse.” He was found by the Board to “pose an immediate risk to the public health, safety or welfare” of the citizens of Colorado. In an emergency action, his license was once again suspended.
If you are concerned about the psychiatric drugs prescribed to you or a loved one, discuss it with your doctor. You can also research psychiatric drug side effects here.
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