11News Exclusive: Woman says doctors got her hooked on pain pills

By: Aaron Luna Email
By: Aaron Luna Email

GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. (KKCO) - A former patient is shedding light on a possible reason federal agents are searching two local doctors homes and offices.

11 News talked to woman who received treatment from both of the doctors under investigation. She says because of them, she got hooked on heavy pain medicine. Now she says the DEA will use her and her husband as lead witnesses in their case against the doctors.

Dianna Winiarszyk and her husband Philip say they were patients of Dr. Jahani and Dr. Peper for about three years. During this time they say both doctors prescribed them large amounts of pain killers to the point where they say, they became addicted.

For three years orange bottles controlled Diana Winiarszyk's life. Diana says, "It's devastating to look back and go 'Oh, my God, I was in nothing but a fog.'" In 1989 Winiarszyk hurt her back in a car accident, the pain would follow her for the rest of her life.

About three years ago she returned to the doctor for help, someone recommended she go see Dr. Sam Jahani. "He immediately started me on what I thought just from knowing medication was a very high dose of narcotics," says Winiarszyk.

Diana admitted she had problems with taking too many painkillers in the past but says she told the doctor that before he treated her. Winiarszyk says, "I take responsibility for me physically taking the medication." She says after the first visit things just started to snowball. "He started increasing my dose, you had to come back monthly you had to make a monthly appointment."

During that time Winiarszyk’s husband Philip also started seeing Dr. Jahani as well as Dr. Eric Peper. "Probably after the first month I was addicted," says Winiarszyk. They say no matter what symptoms they had, the doctors always had the same solution. "He would look at your blood pressure and go 'Oh your blood pressure is high you're in pain,' so he would add the Soma on top of the Vicadin."

Over the course of three years Diana and Philip took generic forms of Valium, Soma, Xanax and Lexapro. All drugs used to treat things like anxiety, seizures, serious pain and nervous tension.

Winiarszyk says, "It never stopped the doses went up the medications changed stronger to stronger." Eventually the two realized they had a problem and stopped going to see Dr. Jahani and Dr. Peper. They also stopped taking the painkillers.

Winiarszyk says, "I feel like I have to start my life completely over at this point." Winiarszyk says the whole experience has left her wary of all doctors. Winiarszyk says, "I'm scared to death, scared to death about finding another doctor."

Winiarszyk says she believes there are many others out there who are in the exact situation that she was and hopes they too can find a way out before its too late.

If you were a patient of Dr. Jahani or Dr. Peper you can email me at aaron.luna@nbc11news.com.

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