Waxhaw doctor accused of illegally prescribing, distributing drug used to treat opioid addiction

WAXHAW, N.C. — A long-time North Carolina family physician spent Friday at the federal courthouse, not with his patients, answering serious drug charges.

Henry Emery Jr., 52, a Waxhaw resident, has been accused of illegally prescribing and distributing a drug known as buprenorphine, a medicine used to treat opioid drug addiction. But just like opioids, buprenorphine can be abused as well. According to Drug Enforcement Agency agents (DEA), that’s exactly what Emery was doing.

The indictment claims that Emery prescribed a mixed substance containing some buprenorphine on multiple occasions with the intent of breaking the law. Channel 9 crime reporter Glenn Counts spoke with residents in the town who were shocked at the charges.

“You know they have an oath to help people, and I think what they are doing and what they know is not helping people,” said Diane Diner.

At one time, Emery was working out of his Weddington office building, but it was no longer there. Counts was able to speak with Shanna Bennett, a resident and wife of a physician, who has zero tolerance for the family physician’s accused offenses.

“I have zero tolerance for that; there is not a good enough excuse for taking advantage of the people who need help or giving to those who don’t need it,” Bennett said.

Counts was able to speak with Emery, but he refused to go on camera. He said he pleaded not guilty and that he’s confident that as the case works its way through the system, the courts will agree with his plea.

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