Drug Problem

Psychiatrist Eric Jacobson has an office in Monterey. He is accused of negligence in the treatment of a patient with history of substance abuse.

Seven years ago, a 52-year-old woman was admitted to Community Hospital of the Monterey Peninsula “complaining of severe anxiety and depression, stating she just wanted to die and did not know how she would do it, ‘maybe overdose,’ or cut her wrists,” according to a document from the Medical Board of California dated June 1. She was hospitalized for 10 days, and several days later began outpatient treatment with Eric Michael Jacobson, a psychiatrist with CHOMP’s Behavioral Health Department.

Over six years, Jacobson treated “Patient A,” as the woman is referred to in the Medical Board’s complaint, prescribing a full medicine chest’s worth of drugs designed to treat depression, seizures, bipolar and depressive disorders, schizophrenia, pain, anxiety, and other issues. This despite knowing she was taking opioids and controlled substances from other physicians, including one with a reputation for overprescribing pain meds, the complaint alleges.

“Respondent’s acts and omissions constitute gross negligence in his care and treatment of Patient A,” the complaint against Jacobson reads. It calls for a hearing to consider revoking or suspending Jacobson’s license. Part of the “disciplinary considerations” in the complaint is a public reprimand of him in 2018 in the care of a different patient not related to prescriptions.

Jacobson did not respond to a request for comment. A spokesperson for CHOMP issued a statement saying that while the state’s review is conducted, “we will continue to focus on providing the highest-quality care to each patient in a safe environment.”

A Carmel Valley family doctor, Paul Tocchet, was accused on July 1 by the state board of prescribing opioids in excessive amounts to five patients between 2014-2018, as well as prescribing opioids and other controlled substances while knowing patients had addiction issues, prescribing drugs based on patients’ subjective complaints, among others. One patient was hospitalized twice due to falls caused by their mixture of medications and another was hospitalized for a possible overdose.

The complaint requests a hearing for Tocchet to consider revoking, suspending or denying approval of his license. On March 20, he ran an ad in the Carmel Pine Cone announcing he was closing his office. A profile on June 26 in the paper’s Healthy Lifestyles section – before the medical board complaint was made public – said Tocchet, 80, was retiring after 50 years of practicing in the valley. Tocchet could not be reached for comment.

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(2) comments

Marco Poehner

Racism is coupled with classism in PG, Monterey and Carmel, especially when it comes to housing, rentals managed by property management. And I wonder whether the kinship of city councils with the good-ole-boy property management heads is responsible. Voted in by white majorities, they have approved so-called “voluntary guidelines” instead of reasonable rent control measures, resulting in a disproportionate number of older white folks living here, because the people of diverse backgrounds, working our way up economically, can’t afford the “market rates” set by the property managers.

Racism and classism are fed by fear. Fear of the unknown. Fear of people who are different. When we live together and converse with each other, and our children grow up playing with one another in the neighborhood and at school, racism and classism fade away. But, this solution is unreachable when the priority is making as much money as possible, and cavalierly blaming avarice on the market.

Yeah, they blame it on the market, but that’s a self-fulling cycle of discrimination. It’s classist, and it’s racist. There are some companies so huge that they practically set the rates for the whole Peninsula, and they gouge renters.

City councils should end licenses to these predatory businesses that don’t let our communities diversify and integrate.

Charles Saves

Why not wait until all the facts are in before you run a "story"? Too much journalistic effort for you?

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