Police officials said an emergency-room physician at a Gulfport hospital was advised to turn in his license to practice medicine after officers found LSD and prescription drugs in his car and his home.
Police arrested Dr. Roderick Gray Newell, 58, of Long Beach on Friday. Assistant Police Chief Don Bass said officers responding to a welfare concern found Newell “passed out at the wheel” of a vehicle at 2:52 p.m. at Oak Court and Live Oak Drive.
Newell had been working at Garden Park Medical Center as an employee of Paragon Contracting Services. His contract is being terminated, said Tracy Young of TeamHealth, a company that hires ER doctors for hospitals through sub-contractors.
Bass said questionable drugs found in Newell’s car prompted a search of his home in the 20100 block of Lover’s Lane. Narcotics officers and state drug agents seized 99 LSD pills, five bottles of prescriptions written for other people, and a small amount of marijuana, Bass said.
“We believe he was writing people prescriptions and taking them back,” said Bass. “As for LSD, that’s something I haven’t seen around here since the ’80s or ’90s.”
Police said Newell was advised to surrender his license this week to the Drug Enforcement Administration.
DEA’s website lists LSD as the most potent hallucinogenic known to science. It has been manufactured illegally by chemists using lysergic acid since the 1960s. A dangerous side effect is “flashbacks,” which can occur several days after the drug is taken.
Bass said the drugs seized include alprazolam, known by brand name as Xanax; hydrocodone, also known as Lortab; Lunesta and Ambien, which are sedatives often prescribed for insomnia; and benzphetamine, a diet pill.