Germantown father fighting the root of addiction after son overdoses on heroin
GERMANTOWN, Ohio (WKEF/WRGT) - A father is fighting back for his son after his heroin overdose death.
Daniel Weidle died Dec. 26, 2015, while trying to find a doctor to continue his Vivitrol treatment.
"You're gunna make me cry," Scott Weidle said when Fox 45's Kelly May asked him to describe his son. "Loved the outdoors, loved to walk the woods."
At the Weidle Corporation in Germantown, Scott showed Daniel's work boots and hard hat in the lobby, and the walls of pictures of the father and son.
"I'm a little lost so I'm finding my grounding in fighting for him," Weidle explained.
Years before working for his father's company, Daniel started using heroin.
"He's the one that reached out for help," Weidle said about Daniel's recovery.
Daniel went to rehab out of state then relapsed his drug use at home, and went back to rehab.
"And then we discovered the word Vivitrol," Scott said, "After the second injection I think he told me 'Dad, I don't have cravings for opiates anymore'."
"He felt relief but I felt more relief because we knew he was safe for 30 more days," Scott said.
Vivitrol is used once per month to treat people addicted to opiates like heroin by blocking them from getting the "high" feeling.
Daniel had been using Vivitrol to stay off heroin for 8 months when something happened that changed the Weidle family's course.
"His provider decided to stop coming to work, never have figured out why," Scott said, "It's our group's policy not to treat addiction, that’s about the clearest answer I got."
Scott said he scrambled to find a new doctor so Daniel could get his medicine.
"Two days later CADAS called and said we can't find you a doctor and I was floored, and I was scared," Scott said.
"We called two or three more doctors and all of them said the same thing, for no reason that Daniel did, and we lost Daniel," Scott said, fighting back emotions, "Because we couldn't find a provider to give him his ninth Vivitrol shot. That's what I call the medical discrimination of the disease of addiction."
Fox 45 asked the state medical board if any laws were broken in Daniel's case. They said without a formal complaint against the doctor it is unclear.
Still running Weidle Corp., Scott's new day job has been researching the root problem of opiate addictions like the one that took his son.
"The pharmaceutical companies, the money, and the peer pressure from the patients, it's out of hand and it needs reigned in," Scott said.
According to the CDC, the amount of opioids prescribed quadrupled from 1999 to 2013, and Ohio has one of the highest prescribing rates in the country. For every 100 people there are 96-143 prescriptions issued.
"I don't think this is a problem that was created solely by physicians," Reginald Fields with the Ohio State Medical Association in Columbus said.
"I think we're actually turning a corner on the prescribing side in the state of Ohio," Fields said.
Fields also explained that the Ohio medical community is well aware of the issues surrounding opiate overprescribing, but said there is no mandatory training for doctors for opiate prescribing.
"Should it be mandatory if Ohio is in the middle of an epidemic?" Fox 45's May asked.
"Well certainly at this point what we're doing in the state of Ohio is. If you look at recent numbers for the last four years the number of opioids prescribed in the state of Ohio has decreased," said Fields.
Weidle said it's a start, but not enough.
"A lot of our dealers are right under our noses," said Scott.
"That's a pretty harsh statement to make about Ohio's doctors," May said.
"I'm sorry to be harsh on doctors but the numbers just lead me to say wake up!" Weidle continued.
Scott Weidle is working with lawmakers in Ohio to draft legislation that would regulate opiate prescribing in Ohio.
To see more on Daniel Weidle's story, visit www.danielsstory.org