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LAPD prescription drug abuse tied to disabilities


The Los Angeles Police Department is busy untangling cases involving personnel struggling with prescription medication addiction and pain management, potentially tied to workers compensation claims.

The police department, like other employers, is not escaping the nationwide problem of prescription drug abuse, some of it stemming from workers comp and disability cases.

This week the LAPD announced the arrest of a 22-year department veteran for prescription fraud. A grand jury indicted Joseph Caseres on nine counts that allegedly involved “doctor shopping” to obtain narcotic meds.

According to an LAPD press release available here, Mr. Caseres surrendered to agents from the Calif. Department of Justice's Bureau of Narcotic Enforcement and to investigators from an LAPD workers comp fraud unit.

His case involves both criminal and administrative investigations.

But investigators are still working to learn whether potential addiction problems began with workers comp claims or stemmed from treatment for non-occupational injuries, LAPD Capt. Paul Hernandez told Comp Time.

Evidence indicates that during his career Mr. Caseres suffered a work-related back injury from an auto accident and a separate work-related knee injury. But doctor statements reveal he was being treated for personal, non-occupational injuries.

Unfortunately, this case shares similarities with others the LAPD is investigating that involve pain management and claimants that suffered both occupational and non-occupational injuries that may have led to prescription abuse, Capt. Hernandez said.

“We do have more than one we are investigating (with) a lot of similarities to this case with the abuse of pain management drugs,” Capt. Hernandez said. “We do unfortunately have a couple of those.”