Regional opioid strike force makes 1st arrest, in Maine

Published: Oct. 27, 2022 at 10:19 AM EDT
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KENNEBUNK, Maine (AP) — An osteopathic physician charged with illegally distributing opioids and other controlled substances marked the first arrest by the New England Prescription Opioid Strike Force.

Dr. Merideth C. Norris, 52, of Kennebunk, prescribed controlled substances without any legitimate medical purpose, federal law enforcement officials said. She was arrested Wednesday on 10 counts and released after making an appearance in federal court.

It was the first arrest since the creation of the New England Prescription Opioid Strike Force, which was launched this summer to combat the illegal prescribing of drugs during the opioid epidemic in Maine, New Hampshire, and Vermont.

The investigation focused on oxycodone, methadone, hydromorphone, diazepam, clonazepam, and dextroamphetamine prescribed to three patients, according to court records.

A message on Norris’ answering machine said the office is temporarily closed. She didn’t immediately respond to an email message.

Norris’ practice focuses on helping people suffering from pain, addiction, obesity, and other problems using “osteopathy, pharmacology, and empathy,” according to a professional profile posted online.