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Derek Boogaard’s father discovers how bad his son’s drug issues were

Jun 4, 2012, 9:12 AM EST

Derek Boogaard Getty Images

Derek Boogaard’s tragic death due to a drug overdose was one that shocked most fans. For his family, they demanded answers to find out how their son managed to run into so many problems with painkillers.

Derek’s father Len, a 30-year member of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, as John Branch of the New York Times shares, found that his issues came from how easily he obtained drugs and how Boogaard’s long-term effects from prior abuse plagued him while in New York.

In a six-month stretch from October 2008 to April 2009, while playing 51 games, Boogaard received at least 25 prescriptions for the painkillers hydrocodone or oxycodone, a total of 622 pills, from 10 doctors — eight team doctors of the Wild, an oral surgeon in Minneapolis and a doctor for another NHL team.

Len Boogaard also notes that while with the Rangers, the team was told about Boogaard’s troubled past with narcotics but managed to prescribe hydrocodone for him to deal with pain stemming from dental work after getting re-injured in fights. Doctors also gave him numerous prescriptions for Ambien despite his addiction to sleeping pills in the past.

It’s an extensive and sad story to read and one that highlights how dangerous addiction can be, especially when it’s being enhanced by doctors trying to help someone get better.

  1. rcp27 - Jun 4, 2012 at 9:32 AM

    These pills are evil ;( sad stuff

  2. ermur22 - Jun 4, 2012 at 10:01 AM

    I don’t understand why Team doctors would give him that stuff. It’s almost criminal. Those Dr’s have a lot of explaining to do.

    • stakex - Jun 4, 2012 at 1:01 PM

      You would be shocked to learn how many NHL players make it through the season only because of pain killers. You don’t honestly think guys playing through an injury do it without help do you?

  3. billobrienschindimple - Jun 4, 2012 at 10:28 AM

    All of these prescription drugs are scary, with some real questionable side effects. Yet we have to be one of the most medicated societies on the planet.

    The war on drugs focuses so much attention while the big pharm pushers go on raking in the dough.

    Legalize marijuana and tax it. It’s not like we couldn’t use that revenue.

  4. dannythebisforbeast - Jun 4, 2012 at 12:24 PM

    It’s legal so it’s ok. I have seen several people descend into addiction an ruin their And their family’s lives ALL on legally prescribed pills. If I was caught selling oxys ill get 10 years. Pharmaceutical companies get millions,tax breaks and government in their pocket. Sad state of affairs.

  5. barkar942 - Jun 4, 2012 at 12:34 PM

    Sad.
    All drugs, legal or illegal have side affects.
    Legal drugs, when taken outside of their prescribed level often lead to addiction.
    Sad. Just plain sad for Derek and his family.

    • crosberries - Jun 4, 2012 at 3:01 PM

      You don’t need to take them outside of their prescribed level to become addicted

  6. taytay099 - Jun 4, 2012 at 6:59 PM

    One of the big problems was that he’d go to 10+ doctors and none of them kept track of each other’s prescriptions.

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