Feds: Eagle River nurse prescribed 4 million opiates in 5 years, contributed to two overdose deaths

(Photo by John Moore, Getty Images)

Federal authorities charged an Eagle River nurse practitioner and a Soldotna doctor Tuesday with illegally writing prescriptions for addictive opiate painkillers for patients who didn’t need them ⁠— contributing, in the nurse practitioner’s case, to the deaths of two patients, authorities said.

Jessica Spayd, who runs Eagle River Wellness, prescribed more than 4 million opioid narcotic pills to Alaska patients between January 2014 and June 2019, Drug Enforcement Administration Special Agent Charles Flockhart wrote in a 39-page sworn affidavit filed Tuesday in federal court in Fairbanks. The affidavit blames Spayd’s overprescription of opioids on the overdose deaths of two of her patients, in December 2015 and February 2016.

[Read the affidavit against Spayd]

Dr. Lavern Davidhizar, who runs Family Medical Clinic in Soldotna, prescribed more than 700,000 opioid pills between 2017 and 2019, DEA Task Force Officer Edward Mooney said in a separate affidavit. Investigators interviewed drug users who called Davidhizar the “candy man,” Mooney said.

[Read the affidavit against Davidhizar]

Spayd faces a minimum of 20 years in prison if convicted of the most serious charges against her, while Davidhizar faces a maximum of 20 years in prison.

This story will be updated.