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A regional opioid strike force has made its first arrest, in Maine

A regional opioid strike force has made its first arrest, in Maine

KENNEBUNK, Maine (AP) — An osteopathic physician accused of illegally distributing opioids and other controlled substances has marked the first arrest by the New England Prescription Opioid Strike Force.

Dr. Merideth C. Norris, 52, of Kennebunk, prescribed controlled substances for no legitimate medical purpose, federal law enforcement officials said. He was arrested Wednesday on 10 counts and released after appearing in federal court.

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

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

A message on Norris’ answering machine said the office is temporarily closed. He did not immediately respond to an email.

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

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