Anna Nicole Had "Clear Cut Addition Issues" Says Expert - NBC4 Washington

Anna Nicole Had "Clear Cut Addition Issues" Says Expert



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    Anna Nicole Smith was prescribed enough pills to kill her, according to a pharmacist who refused to fill out the prescription.

    An expert hired by the California Medical Board testified Wednesday that Anna Nicole Smith had "clear- cut addiction issues," and said he believes her doctor had excessively prescribed drugs for her.

    Dr. James Gagne told a Los Angeles Superior Court jury that Kapoor prescribed a large quantity of Dilaudid -- nicknamed "hospital heroin" after Smith fell and broke two ribs in 2004, and continued to prescribe it to her "way past the point where an ordinary rib fracture should have healed."

    Gagne called the drug the "strongest opiate available" and said it is "highly prized by addicts."

    His testimony came during the trial of Kapoor, Dr. Khristine Eroshevich and Smith's longtime companion, Howard K. Stern, who are accused of conspiring to prescribe, administer and dispense controlled substances to an addict from June 2004 until Feb. 8, 2007 -- the day Smith died from an accidental prescription drug overdose in a Florida hotel room at age 39.

    Medical records kept by Kapoor indicate that he felt Smith should be weaned off Dilaudid, but that she refused counseling with an addiction specialist, according to Gagne.

    "There were clear-cut addiction issues," Gagne told the jury.

    The prosecution witness also told jurors that there were instances in 2005 in which he believed Kapoor had excessively prescribed benzodiazepenes, including Clonapin and Valium, to Smith, along with the sleep-aid Ambien.

    Gagne noted that Smith refused to enter an inpatient rehabilitation program, and that Kapoor continued to prescribe medication to the onetime Playboy Playmate following her release from the hospital.

    Gagne testified that he was also concerned that Kapoor continued to prescribe a powerful opiate to Smith after she moved 3,000 miles away and had not seen him for months.

    Gagne is due back on the stand Tuesday for cross-examination by defense attorneys.