Alexander DeLuca, M.D.
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The Myth of the "Chilling Effect"
Doctors Operating Within Bounds of Accepted Medical  Practice Have Nothing to Fear From DEA

DEA Press Release, October 30, 2003. Also available at: Originally posted to 12/3/2003. Document was reformatted for clearer presentation on this web page.
I take this document as tangible evidence that advocacy groups like the Pain Relief Network and the Pain Patients Coalition are starting to make DEA a little nervous.  Also, this is a great example of misleading statistics and 'Denominator Abuse! ' (The correct denominator is # MDs who actually write significant numbers of scripts for controlled substances, and who are therefore at risk of DEA action, not the # of DEA registrants, or total # U.S. docs.  <sheesh!>)  ..alex...

October 30, 2003

Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) statistics show that the vast majority of practitioners registered with DEA comply with the requirements of the Controlled Substances Act (CSA) and prescribe controlled substances in a responsible manner in treating their patients' medical needs.

One of the the missions of the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), Diversion Control Program (DCP), is to prevent, detect and investigate the diversion of legitimately manufactured controlled substances. The Controlled Substances Act (CSA) requires doctors to become registered with DEA in order to prescribe, dispense or administer controlled drugs to their patients for legitimate medical reasons.

The DEA may initiate an investigation of a practitioner upon receipt of information of an alleged violation of the provisions of the CSA and may pursue sanctions against the practitioner based upon the facts determined from that investigation.

Since FY 1999 the DEA registrant population has continually increased reaching almost 1 million doctors (as of June 30, 2003). During this same time, DEA has pursued sanctions on less than one tenth of one percent of the registered doctors. The pie charts pictured put this in graphic perspective.

Total Number of Doctor Registrants


Percent of Doctor Registrants

Investigations of Doctors Initiated in FY 2003*



Actions Taken Against Doctors in FY 2003*



Arrests of Doctors in FY 2003*



*partial year data

Actions taken by DEA include: letters of
admonition, informal hearings, civil penalties,
voluntary surrenders of registration for cause, 
revocations of registrations, and arrests.



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Dr. DeLuca's Addiction, Pain, and Public Health Website

Alexander DeLuca, M.D., FASAM.

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Originally posted:  10/25/2003

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Most recently revised: 12/03/2003
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