Lakewood nurse accused of stealing morphine, replacing it with water

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LAKEWOOD, Ohio– A Lakewood nurse is accused of stealing pain medication from patients while working at a nursing home.

Michelle Brown, 43, was indicted Friday on two counts each of tampering with drugs, illegal processing of drug documents, drug possession and theft.

Cuyahoga County prosecutors said Brown removed bottles of morphine and hydromorphone from a medication cart on March 1 and March 7. The drugs were prescribed for patients at the Crestmont North Nursing Facility on Detroit Road in Lakewood.

According to prosecutors, Brown removed some of the liquid opiate medication and added water to the bottles to conceal the theft, diluting the drugs.

“This defendant took advantage of her position as a nurse to illicitly obtain drugs and tried to conceal the evidence. In doing so, she placed innocent patients at risk by tampering with their medication…we will seek an appropriate punishment,” said Cuyahoga County Prosecutor Michael C. O’Malley, in a statement.

Prosecutors said none of the patients reported any adverse effects from the diluted medicine.

Brown is scheduled to be arraigned on the charges May 17 at 8:30 a.m.

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