Man died of overdose two days after seeing doctor

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SALT LAKE CITY (AP) -- Just two days before a young man's death, a friend was concerned about hundreds of pills in his possession.

"At least 100 Percocet and crazy amounts of Xanax," Dustin Hahn said of Thaison Roark.

"I told him, 'You better be way careful. That's a lot of medication,"' Hahn told The Salt Lake Tribune.

Roark was found unconscious in his Salt Lake City-area apartment in August 2006, dead of an overdose two weeks before his 21st birthday.

Roark's death is part of an indictment filed against Dr. Warren Stack, who is accused of prescribing painkillers to patients without first giving a thorough checkup. Authorities allege his actions contributed to four other deaths.

Stack, 60, has pleaded not guilty.

Roark was an aspiring rap writer and 2004 Central High School graduate who had planned to propose marriage to his girlfriend, his mother said.

"Nothing is going to bring him back," said Katheryn Roark, who lives in Seattle. "But I want this somehow to be rectified or to serve a purpose of some sort. I hope I can find some kind of peace in that."

She said her son was suffering from anxiety while living without close family nearby in summer 2006.

Katheryn Roark said she was unaware her son was taking pills but was alarmed when he would call sounding exuberant one day and depressed the next.

Prosecutors say Stack dispensed oxycodone to Thaison Roark on Aug. 21, two days before he was found in his apartment.

An autopsy also revealed a muscle relaxant and the painkiller Percocet in his body, Katheryn Roark said.

"I didn't realize the magnitude of what he'd been doing," she said. "I just knew it was crazy that a 20-year-old child would have those kinds of narcotics."

She asked investigators to look into her son's death after she found Stack's business card in his wallet and pill bottles in his bedroom.

Thaison Roark loved basketball, football and video games and had earned a black belt in kung fu by age 13.

"Not even being 21 ... he had so much ahead of him," Hahn said. "It's still hard."

Information from: The Salt Lake Tribune

(Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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