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Doctor Arrested in Connection with Suspected Northlake Pill Mill

For the second time in as many weeks, authorities make arrests at Southern Health Management.

Southern Health Management in Northlake, , was targeted again Tuesday and a doctor was arrested, according to authorities.

Dr. Michael Assevero, a gynecologist, was charged with conspiracy to distribute Oxycodone during yesterday's raid and was taken away in handcuffs.

"I'm just practicing good medicine," he said to a reporter.

He remains in custody at the DeKalb County Jail.

Federal drug enforcement agent Chuvalo Truesdell told WXIA-TV the office reminded him of a crack house from the 1980s.

"Drug dealers are drug dealers, whether it's a person who's on a corner dealing crack, or a clinician in a coat," Truesdell said. "These are patients who know they can come to this particular place and score prescriptions."

Nick Stabile, an employee at Southern Health Management, which is next to the DeKalb County police headquarters, told CBS the Drug Enforcement Agency is on a witch hunt.

"We don't do anything wrong here. We're by the book," he said.

Owner Jeffrey Gonzalez is out on bond of $50,000 following his June 14 arrest. He told Tucker Patch at the time: "That dog and pony show they put on at my medical center was intended to do what it did, make us look guilty. So sad our patients had to endure that."

The owner's mother, Pat Gonzalez, contacted Tucker Patch and said: "He has a genuine concern for those in pain due to accidents or medical conditions. There are so many who have had problems in finding doctors to treat them and prescribe the needed medication. He provided help for them at Southern Health Management that they so desperately needed."

Clinic patient Jen Phillips commented: "I hate this and I hate the stigma because a lot of valid patients are not getting help with chronic pain care. Not everyone is a pill head."

Terry Smith July 05, 2012 at 02:25 PM
Not all are pill heads? Seriously? How long can any individual take narcotics before this ceases to be factual? Narcotics are NOT intended for long term use. We have become a nation of pill heads, people addicted to prescription drugs who actually believe that because what they are taking was prescribed by a physician, that they are somehow different from the person scoring something on the street corner. Denial is not a river in Egypt.
Jerrell Davis July 05, 2012 at 07:05 PM
Dr assevero was not overprescribing anything, I was a patient there and he actually was working with me to lower my doaeage over the past few months, and cutting out other narcotic meds he deemed unnecessary. He is a very caring doctor and in addition to helping with my medication, he helped me with a weight loss plan, and was very kind and emotionally motivating. He should not be behind bars.
jnj kraw July 06, 2012 at 02:27 PM
This dr is great. He lowed my dose. Took me from 180 to 90 n helped me get off xanex (that I was on for 20 yrs). He's the best docter I've seen in all my 34 yrs. I was born wo a right rip socket n after 15 surgeries I have been in pain my whole life. This dr helped me in more than one way. He helped me not only feel better but see that there is light at the end. Give southern health a break. They r not a pill mill. I've been to pill mills n left trust not one there!
OakGroveParent July 06, 2012 at 04:32 PM
You losers should not be hooked on drugs anyway.
OakGroveParent July 06, 2012 at 04:37 PM
It's a load of crap. These people go "legitimately" get drugs from hack doctors and then turn around and sell them on the street.
Jonathan Cribbs July 06, 2012 at 05:35 PM
A little judgmental, aren't we, OakGroveParent?
Tammy July 06, 2012 at 05:43 PM
I think the quite would be more appropriately..."I'm just practicing feel good medicine,"
OakGroveParent July 06, 2012 at 05:47 PM
No, not judgmental. I am tired of our society having to clean up after people who refuse to care for themselves or accept responsibility or themselves.
Tom Doolittle July 07, 2012 at 12:53 AM
Thanks for the update Kevin and attaching in the BriarPatch Jonathan.
Jonathan Cribbs July 07, 2012 at 04:00 AM
OK. Well then let's not make assumptions about people when your knowledge of them is limited to several sentences they've written in the comments section of a Patch story. Just some advice.
VAHighlandsParent July 14, 2012 at 02:58 AM
You may not be clear on what it means to be judgmental then. You are judging people who seek help for chronic pain as people who refuse to care for themselves or accept responsibility for themselves, and that they are people that society has to clean up after. You are confusing this group of people who are in legitimate, chronic pain with drug addicts who are chasing a high. People in chronic pain are only seeking temporary relief from physical conditions for which there is no cure. Spend about 3+ years in pain every day of your life so that you can get a good feel of what it may be like, then seek help from a general practitioner or an orthopedic doctor...let them tell you that you are not a good candidate for surgery and there is really nothing they can do to help you. Let them prescribe you anti-inflammatories and steroidal drugs repeatedly, to no avail and no relief (except to tear up your stomach). Follow all the instructions that you've been given, and still get no relief. Have difficult times finding jobs you can do that do not aggravate your condition. But be sure to do it for years, not just a few months. Once you have gone through this long enough that you can't remember what it was ever like to NOT be in pain, come back and post about the losers who may consult a pain clinic doctor for safe ways to try to manage their pain. Until you have walked in their shoes...
OakGroveParent July 14, 2012 at 05:19 PM
I am not sure where the post you initially wrote about your daughter's chronic pain went, VaHigh Parent, but I will respond to both that post and the post about your chronic pain above. I personally have pretty bad spinal stenosis, spondylosis and some other spinal issues that are indeed so bad that I have on two occasions been operated on because of it. I have had, on two seperate occasions, a laminotomy and a multi-level spinal fusion. I personally choose to manage my pain without narcotics when possible, through weight control and exercise primarily. I certainly understand and can sympathize with those who have true chronic pain. I also am aware that there is an epidemic of prescription Rx abuse in this country and have lost several friends to this awful disease, most in the past few years. These individuals all overdosed and all received medications they sincerely thought they needed from "pain clinics" that were known for dispensing medications without hassle to anybody willing to show up and pay the money. The clinic that was busted recently in our neighborhood was such a clinic. The man who ran this clinic was not a legitimate pain doctor. He was an OBGYN who ran a known pain clinic and who would dispense drugs to anybody who would show up and pay.
OakGroveParent July 14, 2012 at 05:29 PM
OBGYN's are *not* pain specialists and in fact, ACOG (The American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology) makes no provision for the training of its members as pain management specialists and advises them to cross train by fellowship in Amesthesiology in order to hang out a shingle as such. There is no doubt that chronic pain exists. It is a very serious and very real problem for many people. I would recommend that you and your daughter be very careful about which doctors you choose to see when managing your chronic pain. If you choose somebody like the man who ran this pain clinic and who has since permanently surrendered his medical license, you may very well end up with some serious substance addiction problems in addition to your chronic pain. There are plenty of legitimate doctors who are specially trained to manage chronic pain and they happen to also be Anesthesiologists. Not OBGYN's. I can personally recomment Dr Duralde to you, at Piedmont Hospital. He has helped me manage my pain and get to a point where I do not need any medications. His website is www.painmd.org. I can guarantee you that you will not see him in handcuffs or on TV.
Ms. July 14, 2012 at 07:12 PM
Thank you for the voice of sanity VAHighlandsParent
OakGroveParent August 06, 2012 at 06:08 AM
From Medscape Medical News > Neurology Tighten Opioid Label Restrictions, Physicians Tell FDA Robert Lowes http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/768214?sssdmh=dm1.806073&src=nldne
OakGroveParent August 14, 2012 at 06:37 AM
Nobody is standing in judgment of you or others who have a legitimate need for long-term opioid therapy for chronic non-malignant pain. Nobody on this page has denied that long-term opioid therapy is a legitimate and necessary thing for some people who have conditions, such as spina bifida, that require long-term or even lifetime chronic pain management. There are many, many legitimate places to go for treatment --- clinics that are administered by Anesthesiologists, not OBGYN's. With all due respect, you should be seeing an Orthopedist or Neurosurgeon plus an Anesthesiologist (and again *not* an OBGYN) to address your health and pain concerns. Southern Health Management was *not* a legitimate pain clinic and is part of the reason the FDA has had to adjust prescription guidelines for the dispensation of narcotics.
OakGroveParent August 14, 2012 at 06:39 AM
PS Certainly we can refrain from saying F-you to one another on this website.....
Mike Parker September 18, 2012 at 03:45 AM
mikepar I dont take any kind of drugs but I have kids today because Dr. Assevero cared alot and took very good care of my wife. She was told it couldnt happen. Thank Dr. Assevero
mtnblueeyes March 25, 2013 at 08:37 AM
He was a great doctor and treated me with respect . The office was always neat and very clean. He helped me loose 20lbs and lowered my dosage and counts. Also he got me off my nerve pills I had been on 10 yrs.

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