Wilmington physician could lose license - WECT TV6-WECT.com:News, weather & sports Wilmington, NC

5.23.03

Wilmington physician could lose license

A license of a Wilmington doctor is suspended after the State Medical Board reports he's addicted to his own medicine.

Hubert Eaton, Junior has been helping the sick and injured in Wilmington for over 30 years. But he's now in danger of losing his practice. But that may be the least of his troubles. A top federal drug investigator says allegations of wrongdoing like those lodged against Eaton usually result in serious criminal charges that can lead to jailtime. The Attorney General's office says they'd likely come from the local level. District Attorney John Carriker he says he first learned about the case watching News Six. And that, right now, he has plans on investigating.

The North Carolina Medical Board is investigating 10 charges including allegations Eaton over-prescribed the presription drug Adderall, a stimulant, to a child. Eaton is also accused of sending his wife to purchase prescription drugs under an assumed name. Even more damaging, eaton himself is accused of taking drugs, the pain killer Vicoprofen, during office hours. He's also accused of selling prescriptions for narcotics to patients for a fee of $55.

Why did he do it? The board quotes eaton telling an employee as he swallowed a drug, "this is an addiction."

The board's findings stunned Eaton family friend Ernest Swain. Swain lives across the street from where Eaton grew up, the son of prominent physician and community leader, the late Hubert Eaton Senior. Swain tells News 6, "people wouldn't expect eaton to do that, he comes from a wonderful family, a wonderful background."

Residents who live near Eaton's north seventh street practice say he has been missing for days. We tried several times to contact Doctor Eaton but have been unsuccessful.

A hearing for the doctor is set for August 21st in Raleigh. Its there where the State Medical Board could revoke Eaton's medical license.

Reported by: Ellen Goldberg & Aaron Saykin

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