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Published: Friday, 7/13/2012

Tiffin doctor faces several drug counts

BLADE STAFF
Dr. Samuel J. Christian of Tiffin is accused of improperly prescribing prescription drugs. Dr. Samuel J. Christian of Tiffin is accused of improperly prescribing prescription drugs.
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TIFFIN -- Bond was set at $100,000 Thursday for a Tiffin physician charged with dispensing methadone and other prescription drugs without a proper license.

Dr. Samuel J. Christian, 55, was indicted by a Seneca County grand jury Wednesday on 24 counts of aggravated trafficking in drugs, a second-degree felony; two counts each of third-degree and fourth-degree drug trafficking, and single counts of fifth-degree drug trafficking and methadone-treatment license violation.

"He was dispensing methadone for addiction purposes, which you have to have proper licensing for that," said detective Charles Boyer, coordinator of Seneca County Drug Task Force's METRICH enforcement unit. "You can't dispense it without the proper license, so by law that's trafficking in drugs, trafficking in controlled substances."

Dr. Christian, who was arrested Wednesday and held overnight in the Seneca County jail, posted 10 percent of his $100,000 bond Thursday.

According to Ohio medical records, he graduated from Howard University School of Medicine in 1984, has an active medical license, but voluntarily surrendered his "controlled substances privileges" to the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration in March.

The indictment charges that Dr. Christian sold methadone, Xanax, and Methylin to patients on numerous occasions between December, 2009, and May, 2011.

The indictment also alleges that between January, 2010, and June, 2011, Dr. Christian ran "a drug addiction program which prescribed methadone" to patients without being licensed.

"All over the state, we are having a huge problem with the epidemic of pills -- whether its methadone, Percocet, Vicodin, or Oxycontin -- and it's really hitting the 16 to 28 age group the most," detective Boyer said. "Once they go there, there's an easy transition from pills to heroin because it's cheaper to buy heroin on the streets and it's the same high. Our community is getting killed by that."



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