Overdose Killed Patient Released From Cherry Hospital

An autopsy shows a North Carolina man just discharged from a state psychiatric hospital died from a massive overdose of a painkiller given to him by the facility.

The News & Observer reported Tuesday that 40-year-old Jeffery Scott Swaim died in July of acute Fentanyl poisoning.

The synthetic opiate was the active ingredient in the pain patch Swaim was prescribed at Cherry Hospital in Goldsboro. The newspaper said the drug has been linked to hundreds of overdose deaths nationally and is often abused by those seeking a high.

Doctors at a Wilmington hospital found one of the pain patches in Swaim's mouth.

He was admitted to the psychiatric hospital almost two weeks earlier seeking treatment for alcohol abuse and suicidal thoughts.

(Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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