Dr Oz: Dr Lisa Tseng At Fault For Drug Overdoses? + Pill Mills


Dr Oz: Have You Ever?

Have you ever played “Never Have I Ever?” Dr Oz wanted to play a version of it to find out how obsessed his audience members truly are with their phones. They were all given paddles with “I have” or “I never” written on each side, and that’s how they responded to each scenario. First, have you ever sent a text from the toilet? Most of the audience had! Dr Oz then asked if you’ve ever tripped or bumped into someone while checking an email, and the audience was pretty mixed. Finally, have you ever sent an inappropriate text while drunk or tipsy? Quite a few people were guilty of that!

What’s the most embarrassing thing that’s ever happened to you while you were on the phone?


Dr Oz: Doctor Charged With Patients’ Overdose Deaths

Dr Oz: Dr Lisa Tseng At Fault For Drug Overdoses? + Pill Mills

Dr Oz discussed Dr Lisa Tseng’s trial and how it’s brought more awareness about pill mills in our country. (plasticrevolver / Flickr)

Dr Oz then wanted to talk about the growing “pill mill epidemic” and Dr Lisa Tseng, an osteopathic physician who wrote more than 27,000 prescriptions in just three years. Dr Oz said some are calling her a “drug dealer in a white coat.” If found guilty, she could face life in prison for the deaths of three of her patients who overdosed from prescriptions she wrote. Dr Tseng worked out of an Advance Care Medical Clinic in Los Angeles and earned a reputation as a provider of “no questions asked narcotics prescriptions.” She wrote more than 25 prescriptions a day.


It was there that Joey Rovero went with his college friends to get their prescriptions. Nine days later, Joey was dead from a mix of alcohol and the drugs Tseng prescribed him. But records show that over 12 patients who visited Tseng overdosed, one even in the hallway of the clinic. Tseng has been under an investigation by the DEA ever since 2010, when she lost her license to prescribe controlled substances. It took nearly 6 years, but on August 31, 2015, Dr Tseng went on trial for the murder of Joey Rovero and two other young men.

Dr Oz: United States Pill Mill Problem

Tseng pleaded not guilty and the defense claims she’s a  immigrant, naive about her patients drug abuse. The prosecution claims she was fully aware of the harm she was doing. This is the first time a doctor in California has been charged with murder for prescribing medicine that leads to a patients death. But the trial only brings attention to a bigger problem int he country: pill mills. It’s estimated that 15,000 people die every year from prescription pain killer overdoses and pill mill prescriptions are often to blame.

Dr Oz: Prescription Medication Abuse & Overuse

Dr Oz was joined on his show by Dr Seth Jaffe who once struggled with addiction and was even a drug dealer himself, but managed to turn his life around and become a psychologist and addiction specialist. Dr Jaffe said this situation is different in that Dr Tseng is being tried as a criminal, whereas it’s more common that doctors would just have their licenses revoked. The thing about prescription medications is that they’re relatively easy to get and relatively cheap, compared to illegal drugs. Plus, people think they’re safe since doctors are giving them out.

To make sure these prescription drugs don’t end up in the wrong hands, Dr Jaffe said there needs to be some “real oversight” on the doctors prescribing them, especially if they’re not a pain specialist. Dr Oz said a regular doctor shouldn’t be giving out a month’s worth of pain pills because if you’re in that much pain, you need to see a specialist.

What do you think needs to be done about the pill mill epidemic? Have you personally lost someone because of this devastating problem?


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