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Mother of man who fatally overdosed speaks out

MCKEESPORT, Pa. — The family of a man who fatally overdosed is suing his doctors, claiming they overprescribed addictive pain medication.

Nicholas Classic died in October 2015.

“I wake up every day with a heavy heart and I go to sleep every day with a heavy heart,” said Karen Ruybal, Classic’s mother. “Our whole family is broken over this and we just want change so no one else has to go through what my family has.”

RELATED: Man's family sues doctors after fatal overdose

The prescription drug monitoring program was not implemented until several months after Classic's death. The program requires doctors to log information about patients who are receiving prescription drugs into a shared system to prevent "doctor shopping."



Classic's issues started three months before he died. He went to the doctor for minor back pain and started getting prescriptions for painkillers. It didn't take long for his parents to realize he had a problem.

"I had an intervention with the family several time," Ruybal said.

Even after a near-fatal overdose in February 2014, Rubyal claims doctors continued to prescribe pills, which led to her son's addiction and death.

She said she's taking the battle to court, but her main goal is to fight for change.

"I have to do this for my son and I have to do this for my family. I'll do it. I'll help anyone and I'll do it for everyone," Ruybal said.

Channel 11 reached out to the doctors and counselors who are named in the lawsuit. All either declined to comment or did not return phone calls.

Stay with Channel 11 News and for continuing coverage.

CLICK HERE for more on available resources for addicts seeking help in the Pittsburgh area.