June 27, 2017 – Justin Juozapavicius
An Oklahoma doctor was charged Friday with second–degree murder in the overdose deaths of at least five patients from the powerful painkillers and other drugs she prescribed, often in combinations that made up an addict’s “holy trinity” of pills, state investigators said.
Oklahoma’s attorney general announced five second–degree murder counts against Regan Nichols, whose patients died while she worked at a Midwest City clinic. An Oklahoma County judge also issued a warrant for her arrest.
Nichols is among several doctors who have been criminally charged or sentenced to prison in the overdose deaths of their patients as the country desperately tries to curb its opioid epidemic. Opioids—primarily prescription painkillers and heroin—were factors in more than 33,000 deaths across the US in 2015, and opioid overdoses have more than quadrupled since 2000, according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
“Nichols prescribed patients, who entrusted their well–being to her, a horrifyingly excessive amount of opioid medications,” Oklahoma Attorney General Mike Hunter said Friday. “Nichols’ blatant disregard for the lives of her patients is unconscionable.”