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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Comments are posted from viewers like you and do not always reflect the views of this station.
  • by suzy on Oct 23, 2009 at 09:39 AM
    What about personal responsibility! Yu know when you are taking drugs what they are doing to you, even the pharmacist goes over the medication and you get a print out. Just another useless lawsuit of somebody trying to get money without earning it.
  • by Jane Doe Location: Grand Junction on Oct 15, 2009 at 01:40 PM
    I know who she is and know she was actually fired by the doctors office for abusing the drugs she was given. I bet anything that is coming out and soon.....I think she thought she was going to get even with him for taking away her high. And yes the pill bottles are all from different pharmacy's, and notice how every last bottle is totally empty, can't some one zoom in on the pictue and catch some dates, or anything?
  • by Carly Location: GJ on Oct 15, 2009 at 11:17 AM
    Just looking at the picture of the bottles - notice the variety in pharmacies. Most addicts use various pharmacies so as not to get caughts. Does this lady and her husband not have to take any share of the fault in their own addiction?
  • by kay Location: g.j on Oct 15, 2009 at 10:19 AM
    Both Docs are caring they did prescribe pain pills to people who needed them that is what they are for right? Pill seekers that abuse them are the cause of this what about the people that need them.
  • by Mike Location: Grand jct on Oct 15, 2009 at 08:29 AM
    Ok I agree wit Col that you are responsible for yourself if you get hooked. The Dr's in question did not force the medications down these peoples throats. However, if she did make him aware of her past problems with pain killers then he too has to bear some of the blame. My biggest issue with this story is the last line in it; "If you were a patient of Dr. Jahani or Dr. Peper you can email me at aaron.luna@nbc11news.com." Why would anyone in their right mind contact them and not the state medical board or the DEA? Sounds like a fishing trip by 11 news to me.
  • by Patricia Location: Delta, CO on Oct 15, 2009 at 07:31 AM
    I too, was a victim of Dr. Jahani, only to experiment with different drugs for my constant pain resulting from a car accident. I ended up in bed for 3 months on his medications, then I changed doctors when I went to the hospital. I will testify for the DEA, also. Dr. Pepper just added to the prescriptions. I don't have the bottles, but I should have the receipts.
  • by Kim Location: Delta on Oct 15, 2009 at 04:01 AM
    Dr. Jahani has been my doctor since 2002 and has always been wonderful with me and my entire family. Doctors DON'T get you hooked on drugs, YOU DO. Grow up and be responsible for yourself. Most people who go see a doctor need medication of sorts, and this whole thing makes me sick because never once has he pushed meds on me. In fact, he just took me off of a bunch of medicine that other doctors gave me when I was out of town. So, really - I think there are several sides to this story, and I hope people will be open to Dr. Jahani's side. My heart hurts for him right now. He has saved a lot of lives. That is truth. ---The economy is bad, so is it time that people start going after their supportive doctors? No wonder the world is so messed up these days. It's almost impossible to get the medicine you need from some docs. Just wait til more cases like this start happening.
  • by back inj 2 Location: redvale on Oct 14, 2009 at 11:20 PM
    i had dr. jahani as my doc for a number of years - i went to him bc i wanted my life back - he was very supportive of my getting off major narcotics that wc docs had prescribed - my experience was positive - i got my life back and am moving forward - it would be more beneficial to investigate work comp & the ins.co.who abuse american workers - but they have to much money and lobby to well so we know that wont happen anytime soon !to bad the dea doesnt give the same attention to them - might save some lives !
  • by constance Location: col on Oct 14, 2009 at 09:52 PM
    doctors dont get you hooked - you get yourself hooked - take responsibility for your own life and medical care - you choose how much and how often to take medicine that has been prescribed - no one made you take the pills - you chose to do it !
  • by Jami Location: Grand Junction on Oct 14, 2009 at 09:46 PM
    I went to urgent care and was seen by Dr. Peper a couple of weeks ago, he looked at my tongue, and told me i was dehydrated and had an inner ear infection, and sent me to community hospital for lab work. I am an insulin dependant diabetic and dr.jahani called and wanted me to come in the following monday. My sgar was high, and dr. peper said he wanted to get me off my humalog insulin, and put me on an oral pill. I have asked drs in the past if that was an option for me, they said absolutley not. I asked dr. peopers nurse if he was a good reputible dr. she said yes he was an excellent dr. and had a lot of diabetic patients. I had a bad feeling about him. He manted to see me that following friday...i never went back. I am so happy i didnt. I went there because i wasnt feeling well and it was after hours and my regular dr wasn't available. i am glad i didnt listen to hiM OR GO BACK!!
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