May 24, 2005 — A St. Lawrence County doctor was arrested last week for allegedly prescribing painkillers to addicted clients who didn't need them. The case is drawing attention to how prescription narcotics are controlled in New York. Dr. Gail DeHart of Gouverneur was charged with third-degree criminal sale of a controlled substance. DeHart's lawyer, Ed Menkin of Syracuse, declined to comment on the case, saying he had yet to meet with his client. Experts say abuse of prescription drugs is a growing problem nationwide, especially among young people. A new state law taking effect next year will require doctors to use official prescription forms, so the health department can better track prescription narcotics. David Sommerstein spoke with Dr. John Dewar, a family physician based in Potsdam. He's medical director of Canton-Potsdam Hospital's chemical dependency unit. He says he deals with 150 to 200 clients a year who are addicted to prescription drugs.