LOS ANGELES, CA: According to Dr. Peterson’s own admission, he had developed a crystal meth habit while in medical school. Dr. Peterson even admitted to self-administering a "date-rape" drug, saying it helped him counter the speed-inducing effect of meth. Later, in 2005, Dr. Peterson began to use Xanax.
His drug problem worsened after entering the workplace. Dr. Peterson lasted just over a year at his first place of employment until he was fired for stealing drugs for his personal use. He immediately found work with another medical practice.
According to the Medical Board, Dr. Peterson's meth habit became increasingly worse in 2010 when he began to take meth intravenously and binged several times a month. In addition to his crystal meth habit, Dr. Peterson also began to take Fentanyl and built up such a tolerance that he was injecting 1000mcg every day. During this time Peterson was still using other drugs like Ambien and midazolam to "come down" from his meth binges.
In 2011, Dr. Peterson began self-injecting a sedative used for surgical procedures. Dr. Peterson told the Medical Board that he used the sedative to reduce his anxiety caused by his meth habit. Dr. Peterson admitted that he was under the influence of these narcotics when he was involved in three separate car accidents within four days.
In October 2011, Dr. Peterson admitted to performing a procedure on a patient after injecting sedatives over his lunch break. Dr. Peterson later told the Medical Board that he had "crossed a line" by doing drugs at work. Dr. Peterson attempted to become sober and entered rehab programs, but after returning to work he still used painkillers and sedatives recreationally, stealing the drugs from his workplace.
In June 2013, the Medical Board finally acted, but only placed Dr. Peterson on probation. He is still able to practice medicine.
Proposition 46, the Troy and Alana Pack Patient Safety Act, will enact the first law in the nation to require random drug and alcohol tests of physicians in hospitals, modeled after the Federal Aviation Administration testing program that has successfully reduced substance abuse by pilots. Doctors found to be impaired on the job will have their license suspended. If Prop 46 had been in effect, Dr. Peterson's drug abuse may have been detected, possibly preventing threats to patient safety in the process.
Hall of Shame: Insurance Companies Backing No on 46
NorCal Mutual Insurance Company $11,000,000.00
The Doctors Company $10,500,000.00
Cooperative of American Physicians $10,161,489.04
Kaiser Foundation Health Plan $5,000,000.00
Medical Insurance Exchange of California $5,000,000.00
The Dentists Insurance Company $1,620,000.00
The Mutual Risk Retention Group $1,000,000.00
All Insurers: $44,613,583.22
Insurance companies have spent nearly $45 million dollars to oppose Prop 46 in order to shield dangerous doctors like Dr. Peterson from punishment, at the expense of patient safety, in order to protect their already substantial profits. In total, the opposition to Prop 46 has over $59 million dollars in their warchest, outspending consumer and patient safety advocates more than 8:1.
Learn more about Proposition 46 and the campaign for patient safety at: www.yeson46.org
Paid for by Yes on Prop. 46, Your Neighbors for Patient Safety, a Coalition of Consumer Attorneys and Patient Safety Advocates – major funding by Consumer Attorneys of California Issues and Initiative Defense Political Action Committees and Kabateck, Brown, Kellner, LLP.