TX - Addicted Oklahoma bug closer

A back injury six years ago led Carie Marie Simmons into a life of prescription drugs, addiction and, eventually, an early death, her mother says.

But Helen Broadbooks, 63, of Lexington, also blames the doctors and pain clinics that treated her daughter, who overdosed and died May 13, 2013, on a combination of hydrocodone, morphine, oxycodone, alprazolam (Xanax), carisoprodol (a muscle relaxer) and meprobamate (a tranquilizer). She was 27.

Carrie Marie Simmons died of a drug overdose in 2013. She is shown here with her husband Drew Dean Simmons.
Carrie Marie Simmons died of a drug overdose in 2013. She is shown here with her husband Drew Dean Simmons.

Broadbooks said her daughter saw Dr. William Valuck for about two years, first at Vista Medical Center and later at Advanced Care Clinic, where Valuck practiced before authorities arrested him in December 2013 for his role in the overdose deaths of several of his patients. Valuck, 72, pleaded guilty in August in Oklahoma County District Court to eight counts of second-degree murder and was given an eight-year prison sentence.

“They get them hooked on (prescription drugs) and then they got somebody that’s gonna come back every month and pay the money,” Broadbooks said.

Broadbooks said Simmons’ husband found her dead in their Lexington home.

“She had gotten up and was in the living room. She’d had a really bad toothache that morning, and I think she took one thing, then took another, then another,” she said. “She died of ‘mixed drug toxicity.’ It was that mixture of things — medications that were prescribed to her — that killed her.”

Simmons was born in Liberal, Kan., and moved to Oklahoma with her family in May 1992.

She grew up in the Noble area and attended Noble High School as well as Robinson Street Baptist School in Norman.

Simmons’ obituary said she had a lifelong love of singing and dancing, was a loyal friend and confidant and that her passing had “left a giant hole in the hearts of all those that knew and loved her.”

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