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Federal investigation of Mental Health continues

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There are more details to report into a federal investigation underway at the Department of Mental Health, as a clinical psychologist is accused of writing prescriptions with one of his colleague's DEA registration numbers. The Drug Enforcement Administration recently found prescriptions written for Buprenorphine during a routine audit of Mental Health clinical psychiatrist Dr. Laura Post's prescriptions.

According to an e-mail KUAM News received from Dr. Post, who is currently off-island, it was during that routine audit that it was revealed that prescriptions were written using her DEA registration number. The only problem - Post wasn't the one writing the prescriptions. Post wrote KUAM saying, "The matter of Buprenorphine having been prescribed while I was off-island in June 2009 came up as an ancillary, albeit related, matter."

The psychiatrist explains that she prescribes Vuprenorphine - a Schedule III controlled substance to a few individuals who are recovering from addiction to heroine and or other opiates. Dr. Post added that she went to great lengths to receive specialized training and go through specific regulations just to be authorized to prescribe the drug. In fact, the DEA gave her a specific registration number just for the Buprenorphine she prescribes to her patients.

Post says "As far as a DEA investigation of any other practitioner, I am neither privy to details of that process nor able to speak to what outcomes may be; that is for the DEA to determine. Upon direct order from the DEA, with whom I met on Friday, September 4, 2009, I did file complaints with the Guam Police Department (on Tuesday, September 8, 2009) and with the Guam Board of Medical Examiners (on Wednesday, September 9, 2009)."

KUAM has confirmed that the Guam Police Department forwarded the complaint to the local DEA office while the Guam Board of Medical Examiners' complaints and disciplinary subcommittee is currently reviewing the complaint. It was also confirmed that Post's colleague, clinical psychiatrist, Dr. Renato Gahol, is named in the complaint allegedly writing the prescriptions without her knowledge or consent.

The complaint and allegations against Gahol came as a surprise to Mental Health director Dr. David Shimizu who said he's since contacted the Attorney General's Office on the matter. KUAM News left messages for Dr. Gahol today, but they went unreturned as of news time.
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