Fentanyl – Front and Center –
Sept. 13, 2018 – In the case at the Bath, N.Y., VA Medical Center’s treatment program, Matthew Helmer, 34, of Hyde Park, N.Y., a resident in drug treatment, was charged in October 2017 with felony counts of drug possession by federal prosecutors, who alleged that he was a “runner” for other veterans in the program, the local Star-Gazette newspaper reported. In court documents, a VA investigator said Helmer told him that “he knew that [patients] overdosed and were currently in the hospital,” but was unaware of how they acquired the synthetic opioid fentanyl, the newspaper reported. Drug paraphernalia was found in Helmer’s room and he acknowledged that heroin was his own drug of choice, the newspaper said. The IG’s report focused on the 170-bed Domiciliary Residential Rehabilitation Treatment Program (DRRTP) in Bath, a town in New York’s “southern tier” near the Pennsylvania border.