Detroit area doctor suspended for over-prescribing opioids

The state department of licensing and regulatory affairs suspended the license of Metro Detroit Doctor Dawn Foster Friday.

It accused her of overprescribing controlled substances and endangering her patients. Two of her patients reportedly dying of overdoses.

"Patients are suffering because of what they're doing and it's not fair to them," said Ruby Yarbrough.

Patient Laronda Smith went to her appointment at Health Centers Detroit on E. Jefferson today to find her Foster not there. She had been seeing Foster for years.

"They just told me she wasn't in," Smith said. "That's all they told me."

Foster was also absent from her other office in Southfield on Nine Mile and Greenfield.

In the complaint filed Friday, the state charging Foster who has been practicing for over 20 years, with six counts including violation of duty, overprescribing, giving away or selling medications and failure to keep medical records.

"To me she was attentive, that's why I'm surprised to hear that," Smith said.

FOX 2: "Is it disappointing?"

"Yes," she said.

The state says Foster has consistently been in the top 100 for prescribers of opioids and Xanax in the state. Her patients often receiving opioid prescriptions up to five times the dosage the CDC recommends.

"I think it's bad because they're making it hard for everybody else that need their medication to get them," Yarbrough said.

The complaint also accuses Foster of failing to keep medical records and, not even examining patients before prescribing controlled substances.
"That's not right," Yarbrough. "You don't give a person an exam then gives them medication, then you don't know what's wrong with them."

The state also says Foster had been regularly prescribing a dangerous combination of medications known on the street as the "holy trinity." That combo is made up of at least one opioid, a benzodiazepine and carisoprodol, which can cause respiratory issues and even death.
"She was explaining to me about the new rules and regulations," Smith said. "So that's surprising to me."

The complaint accuses Foster of prescribing that dangerous regimen to several patients - one patient dying of an overdose in February of 2015 and another in June of 2015 - two days after filling their prescription.
"That's really hard to believe," Smith said. "She never done it to me. She has always been above board."

FOX 2 received a "no comment" from each of her offices and no answer at her door.  Foster has been given 30 days to respond to the complaint.