WCBS 880 reporter Irene Cornell is doing an extended series on drug abuse, called Bad Medicine: When Painkillers Kill. The series will run through May 25. Be sure to check cbsnewyork.com for her pieces if you miss them on-air.
NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – Maria Basmas keeps a candle burning next to a photograph of her son Christopher. She just experienced her first Mother’s Day without him.
WCBS 880’s Irene Cornell On The Story
He died in October of a fatal overdose of prescription pills.
“Too much of a shock,” Basmas told WCBS reporter Irene Cornell. “I cannot ever explain it, the feeling to see your kid dead.”
He was 29 and all his mother knew was that her son had gone to the doctor because he had a bad cold.
“And I went to his room and I found a bottle of Oxycontin. It was 180 pills that were given to him. 180 pills, 40 milligrams each, and a bottle of 120 Xanax, 2 milligrams, and Oxycodone and a bottle of antibiotic,” Basmas said.
Still in shock over her son’s sudden death, she ran to the phone.
“I called the doctor and said ‘Doctor, I have here my son, saw you yesterday, and I have your prescription here.’ I said ‘My son is dead. What are you going to do about it?’ He said ‘What do you mean?’ I said ‘Well, like I said, you killed my son. My son is now dead. I don’t have a son, and you got the $100 because I have the receipt here.’ I said ‘What are you going to do?’ He said ‘I didn’t know what I was doing'” she said.
Basmas, who works in health care, said she has since become aware that the prescription pill epidemic is coming to everybody’s door.
“And today I can’t even trust the doctors because the doctor is supposed to save lives, but now he killed my son,” she said. “My son died by a doctor. I don’t call him a doctor. I call him the monster, the criminal.”
Two of the doctors who sold pills to her son and are complicit in his death are now under investigation, Cornell reported.
Basmas has committed herself to speaking out about the dangers of prescription painkillers and the doctors who become drug dealers.
“Prescription drugs, they’re killing everybody,” she said.
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