Opioid patient ‘at a loss’ after prescriber’s suspension

NORTON SHORES, Mich. — Bonnie Drier said a state investigation into her nurse practitioner, Susan Drust, caught her by surprise.

"To hear what they're saying, I don't understand it because she was forthright, and she was always there when I needed her," Drier said.

Drust, who runs a clinic in Norton Shores, is accused of prescribing controlled substances to alcoholics, allegedly prescribing unsafe combinations of opioids and/or sedatives without documenting the risk or reason. The state claims she didn't document any consideration of alternate treatments outside of opioids.

So the state suspended her license and clinic operations.

Drier said she thought, "Oh my God, what am I supposed to do?"

The Norton Shores resident said she's depended on Drust to prescribe her fentanyl patches monthly and says the nurse practitioner has been instrumental in decreasing that dependency.

"Susan helped me back down from 50 micrograms to 12.5 micrograms, and she did me a huge justice by doing that," Drier said.

She said it's progress following a failed back surgery in 2013. Now she's concerned the loss of rapport with her healthcare provider poses a risk in safely managing her pain.

"Now I have to start it all over with a pain clinic," Drier said.

She added, "Will I be able to go back to her for my regular stuff -- my non-opioid stuff, my regular stuff? I'm terrified of trying to have to ween myself off when it's dangerous to begin with."

FOX 17 called the clinic, again, which had no further comment. It's important to note the license suspension is only temporary for Drust. The state still needs to determine if she violated public health code. That'll happen at a later date.

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    • Karlynbee

      I must say that you do not suffer from chronic pain, there is a witch hunt going on these days andDoctors and NP are the ones being targeted. Open your eyes and look it up Doctors not just in Michigan but the entire USA are losing their practices. Don’t make assumptions till you know the facts.

    • War On Pain Patients

      She broke no law. She’s not been arrested. This is an investigation by her licensing board, not law enforcement.


    stop trying to tell us you need it for pain your a druggie ya know it maybe its time to get off the drugs and enjoy life

    • Chris

      Maybe it’s time you have an experience involving chronic pain and see how it feels for a cancer patient to be told to “get off the drugs and enjoy life” by some twiddle head halfwit..

    • ginapa

      People in debilitating pain can only enjoy a partial life with the help of pain medications. Sadly, there is nothing to help cruel people like yourself. Karma is a bit@h, so I’ll pray that you, your partner, and your children never develop any problems that involve chronic pain. But Karma being what it is, I KNOW that someday you’ll wish you could retract your words here–But it will be too late. In the meantime, I suggest you take a 5th-grade grammar course. You’ll need to be writing intelligent and legible letters in the future.

  • ginapa


    So they shut her down, causing her to lose income while at the same time abandoning patients, AND destroyed her reputation in the process–yet the State still needs to determine “IF” she violated public health code???? I thought in America that we were considered innocent until “proven” guilty??? Our government has gone off the deep end, especially since there is NO correlation between doctors prescribing opioid medications and overdoses or deaths.

  • Evan Kearney

    The United States has turned into a country worthy of the vile terms our President frequently uses against sovereign natiions from which he would not want to accent the (usually very highy qualified) immigrants from.

    I hope this person is alive. Pleas tell me you are. Because I really really worry about things like this.

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