An urgent care unit in Scranton, Pennsylvania was raided by federal agents who suspected the clinic of improperly prescribing drugs used to help opiate addicts overcome their addiction.
WNEP 16 reports that on July 9th, agents from the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) and the Federal Inspector General’s (FIG) office raided Advanced Urgent Care, searching for medical records, invoices, and other documents for their investigation. More than 50 patients were turned away that day as the staff were forced to stay inside. By the end of it, the agents hauled back several boxes packed with documents from the clinic.
The raid was one of a coordinated series of searches conducted across Pennsylvania by the DEA and FIG along with local police agencies. Urgent care units in State College and Philadelphia, among other locations, were searched.
The DEA has not told reporters why they launched the raids or the nature of its investigation. However, some local residents believe it’s due to the fact that Advance Urgent Care was known for prescribing drugs illegally to opiate addicts seeking to treat their addiction.
“Not surprised one bit because basically they told me, ‘Don’t come here, come up to Pittston Avenue,’ and that they were getting investigated by the DEA,” said Advanced Urgent Care patient Steve Petroshek.
Petroshek admits to using the medication to help his opiate addiction. Driving to the clinic from his home in Nanticoke, he claims the drugs are effective in reducing his urge to consume an opiate as well as preventing withdrawal.
“If I don’t have that, I won’t get out of bed, or I’ll have an urge to go get an opiate,” he said. “I drive all the way from Nanticoke, so it’s hard. Now I don’t know what to do.”
Advanced Urgent Care is one of the thousands of urgent care units in the United States. More than three million people visit an urgent care center each week.