Kathy Creedon, a former Palm Desert resident, said her son Ryan Creedon was a drug addict, but that didn't stop Dr. Rudolpho Alegria, a physician and surgeon, from prescribing dangerous doses of prescription drugs to the 21-year-old at his Indio practice on Miles Avenue.
"It was devastating," said Kathy Creedon. "It was frightening that every time I found another bottle of pills with that doctor's name, it made me fear for my son's life."
Ryan died from his drug use in 2009. Creedon said Alegria enabled her son's addiction.
Documents show Alegria surrendered his medical license July 15, but it won't be effective until Dec. 31.
Creedon refers to it as "dirty doctor" practices. She and others, some in the medical field, filed complaints against him with the U.S. Department Drug Enforcement Administration in 2009.
"I feel once he surrendered it, I would have hoped the Medical Board would made him do that effective immediately," said Creedon.
Alegria faced 11 causes for discipline with the Medicine Board of California, including acts of dishonesty or corruption, gross negligence, repeated negligence and incompetence.
Documents showed that the DEA reviewed Alegria's prescribing history from November 2007 through May 2008. During those six months, he wrote more than 4,300 prescriptions.
Patients got large or extreme amounts of methadone, Xanax and oxycondone without valid reason or medical examination.
"I feel once he surrendered it, I would have hoped the Medical Board would made him do that effective immediately."
Alegria is still practicing medicine. His receptionist said the doctor was busy dealing with patients and meetings all day, and he would get back to us in the near future.
Creedon said she's disappointed the doctor abused his license, which was given to help people, not hurt them.
"I do feel some satisfaction justice has been served a little bit. Because of the love of my son, I followed up on this and there was a positive outcome and he will no longer be able to practice medicine," said Kathy Creedon.