Boca Raton Psychiatrist Charged With Trafficking Oxycodone

Dr. James Cocores, Courtesy Palm Beach County Jail.

Dr. James Cocores, Courtesy Palm Beach County Jail.

BOCA RATON, FL (BocaNewsNow.com) — A Boca Raton Psychiatrist and former assistant professor for the University of Florida has been charged with trafficking oxycodone and writing a prescription without medical need.

James Cocores, MD, of Northeast Boca Bay Colony Drive, was part of Southcoast Psychotherapy Associates on North Federal Highway at the time of the investigation. He since opened his own practice in the same location.

According to police:

On Thursday, February 21, 2013 a two-year investigation culminated in the arrest of a psychiatrist for trafficking and writing a prescription without a medical need.

The investigation began in February 2011, when Crime Stoppers received an anonymous tip that Dr. James Cocores was prescribing large amounts of oxycodone, or other requested drugs, with little or no questioning or examination. Dr. Cocores is a psychiatrist who specializes in drug abuse treatment and opiate addiction at his practice, Southcoast Psychotherapy & Education Associates, Inc., 5301 North Federal Highway, Boca Raton.

Detectives established an undercover (UC) officer as a prospective patient who was seeking grief counseling/treatment for a traumatic event. During the initial visit, the UC filled out a questionnaire and provided a list of prescribed medications, which included oxycodone, alprazolam, and ibuprophen. Dr. Cocores spoke with the UC about the psychological issues she was experiencing then shifted the topic to a recent physical exam. The UC told Dr. Cocores she was seeing a chiropractor and another doctor for pain management. Dr. Cocores provided suggestions on pain alleviation related to eating habits, walking, lifting and sitting positions, but he did not conduct a physical exam, nor did he take any vital statistics.

Dr. James Cocres, as seen on his website.

Dr. James Cocres, as seen on his website.

During the second visit, the UC stated she was unable to obtain medical records office because law enforcement had shut down the office and seized all patient files. Over several months, Dr. Cocores prescribed multiple medications to the UC, including Xanax, Vicodin, Percocet and Oxycodone. At no time during any of the office visits did Dr. Cocores conduct any physical exams or diagnostic workups.

On March 6, 2012, detectives ascertained that Dr. Cocores never accessed the State of Florida’s Electronic Florida Online Report of Controlled Substances Evaluation program (E-FORCSE), which is Florida’s Prescription Drug Monitoring Program (PDMP), to see if any of his patients were obtaining controlled substances from other practitioners.

On May 23, 2012, detectives met Dr. Cocores’s at his office. Detectives requested and received copies of the UC’s complete patient file. In August, the UC’s patient file and all audio/video evidence were given to a recognized medical expert and a Department of Health (DOH) official for review.

In October 2012, the DOH expert opined that Dr. Cocores failed to meet the standard of care as stipulated by the Florida Board of Medicine in four areas:

1. Dr. Cocores failed to conduct a physical exam and no diagnostic was ever completed.
2. Dr. Cocores failed to establish a treatment plan.
3. Dr. Cocores failed to explore alternate methods of treatment.
4. Dr. Cocores failed in preventing drug abuse and diversion.

The medical expert confirmed the DOH official’s opinions.

On February 21, 2013, detectives arrested Dr. James Cocores and charged him with trafficking oxycodone and writing a prescription without a medical need.

Cocores was booked into the Palm Beach County Jail. He was later released on his own recognizance.

According to his biography:

Dr. Cocores treats alcohol, drug, and food addictions; bipolar disorder; post-traumatic stress disorder; depression; ADD (ADHD); anxiety disorders; ambition dysfunction; obsessive worrying; sleep disorders; intimacy dysfunction; and non-drug or adrenaline addictions, such as gambling, pornography, shopping, and computer-related addictions. Dr. Cocores’ most recent book is available at BrightFoodsBooks.com. He is actively involved in research that preliminarily reveals that overeating is more than a matter of choice. Dr. Cocores is Medical Director and Director of Research at Southcoast Psychotherapy and Education Associates; Clinical Assistant Professor in the Departments of Addiction Medicine, Neuroscience, and Psychiatry at the University of Florida College of Medicine and McKnight Brain Institute; and a member of the Medical Staff at the Shands Hospital of the University of Florida in Gainesville. He has been evaluating and treating adults, adolescents, and children with psychiatric disorders for more than 25 years. Dr. Cocores has published more than 65 medical book chapters, scientific journal articles, and professional studies, as well as several books. Some of his websites include: ADDandNutrition.com, AlzheimersandNutrition.com, CTRTDiet.com, EmptyWavesofGrain.com, OpiateRecoveryDiet.com, PeaceLifestyle.net, ProstateCancerPreventionDiet.com, and Skinutrition.net.

A Spokesperson for the University of Florida tells BocaNewsNow.com that despite what appears in his biography, Dr. Cocores is not currently a part of any UF program.

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  7 comments for “Boca Raton Psychiatrist Charged With Trafficking Oxycodone

  1. tomas
    February 22, 2013 3:21 pm at 3:21 PM

    So? He obviously needed more $$ and, at the same time, he wanted to help his suffering patients get relief … isn’t this what medicine is all about? Government invasion of privacy.

    • Alexandrie LaVey
      February 24, 2013 6:32 pm at 6:32 PM

      I tend to agree but if you only new this gentlemen you would know he was not a pill pusher. Dr. Cocores is a caring man who is only concern is with his patients and their well being. I know a lot of Psychiatrists who do not physically exam their patients. This is a outrage and this did not need to happen. Dr. Coroces is just being tagged for know good reason and now his patients have to suffer and so does he.

  2. Anonymous
    February 22, 2013 8:22 pm at 8:22 PM

    Dr. Cocores was wrongfully accused, as you will later find out and should be given a fair chance to prove that before you ignorant reporters make a story about a reputable man in this community. Not only is Dr. Cocores an outstanding, caring, doctor and man… he has also got more people DETOXED OFF medications then put ON. <– True story, get your facts straight. You should be sued for defamation of character. If you knew ANYTHING about the facts of this story, you would SYMPATHIZE with this remarkable, caring man. Shame on you. I hope you come back to rewrite an apology when the facts are made public, because if not, your no better then the shit my dog takes each morning. FURTHERMORE, Dr. Cocores is NOT a part of Southcoast and has not been for quite some time. He rented an office there but the staff was shady and forged his prescriptions for money and Wendi Wade would give patients misinformation while George Balsama received oral sex as payment. Dr. Cocores wanted NOTHING to do with that and if you read the alligatioms, Wendi Wade – recently out on a rat bond was incarcerated in Broward County for trafficking oxycodone, calling in prescriptions, taking people's money without services and is now on drug offender probation.

  3. Karen
    February 23, 2013 7:58 am at 7:58 AM

    This is a patient of his and the Dr. is very thorough. I was seen and he took a complete medical history, did an examination mentally and physically, reviewed all of my reports and scans, took my vitals, and when I lost my medical insurance saw me. So this” investigation” was on ONE patient who cried the blues and made up a story about herself then lied and said her doctor office was no longer open and the records could not be attained, basically. Ask REAL patients who have had severe life altering disease and trauma who are legitimate patients about him. What a sad day when the governement has to lie and respond to a bogus claim. I am very sad that now I have to start all over again re-living my trauma to another dr. Did the government ever think for one minute about the real patients who are going through extraordinary mental and physical pain and what they are going to do without their beloved doctors? Very very disappointed in the action taken without a real investigation into the real patients here.

  4. Emily
    February 23, 2013 10:33 am at 10:33 AM

    Dr C saved my life, saved me from losing custody of my children, saved me from losing my job and my home. He has been on a long journey with me and always had my health and well being as a top priority. He helped me through years of a divorce from hell and an ex husband who would do anything to bring me down and to this day. If Dr C wasnt treating me, my kids would be motherless and I couldn’t be the person and parent I am today! One person’s gripe at the expense of others very real nightmares is a pity. The justice system in this country preys on victims and rewards the criminals with a slap on the wrist! No wonder so many people have real problems and need real help from real medical professionals like Dr. C.

  5. Alexandrie LaVey
    February 24, 2013 6:44 pm at 6:44 PM

    Just for the record Dr. C saved my life too, I have been seeing him for years, it is true he has not worked for South coast but opened up his own office to get away from the other one. You stupid people don’t know a dam thing about this awesome man in our community and I hope you people pay for the craziness you just put this innocent man through. SHAME ON YOU! He is a great man!

  6. cheryl mckenna
    April 28, 2013 6:10 pm at 6:10 PM

    and by the way…I am aware that psychiatrists don’t do actual physical exams, but when a patient presents with “pain in his knee”, is it not encumbant upon this Dr.to ask for xrays or MRI, or refer to an orthopaedic? If Dr. Cocores isn’t just a legalized drug dealer, he should have done any one of those things. Instead, he just prescribed hundreds of oxys every month. If he paid any attention, he would have realized he has an addict siiting in front of him and the last thing my son needed was a prescription for more opiates. This so called ” Dr.’s” specialty was ostensibly drug abuse and opiate addiction. As a result of this Dr’s malpractice and lack of ethics, my son is dead!

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