Derek Boogaard’s tragic death due to a drug overdose was one that shocked most fans. For his family, they demanded answers to find out how their son managed to run into so many problems with painkillers.
Derek’s father Len, a 30-year member of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, as John Branch of the New York Times shares, found that his issues came from how easily he obtained drugs and how Boogaard’s long-term effects from prior abuse plagued him while in New York.
In a six-month stretch from October 2008 to April 2009, while playing 51 games, Boogaard received at least 25 prescriptions for the painkillers hydrocodone or oxycodone, a total of 622 pills, from 10 doctors — eight team doctors of the Wild, an oral surgeon in Minneapolis and a doctor for another NHL team.
Len Boogaard also notes that while with the Rangers, the team was told about Boogaard’s troubled past with narcotics but managed to prescribe hydrocodone for him to deal with pain stemming from dental work after getting re-injured in fights. Doctors also gave him numerous prescriptions for Ambien despite his addiction to sleeping pills in the past.
It’s an extensive and sad story to read and one that highlights how dangerous addiction can be, especially when it’s being enhanced by doctors trying to help someone get better.