NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WJHL) — The Tennessee Department of Health (TDH) immediately suspended a Kingsport psychiatrist’s license Jan. 24 after he allegedly continued diverting drugs for his own use after an August 2022 drug-induced breakdown.
In the Jan. 24 summary suspension, the state wrote Dr. Adrian Buckner’s “mental state while maintaining an active medical license poses an imminent danger to the citizens of Tennessee” and that the board of medical examiners “believes immediate action is necessary to prevent harm to patients.”
Buckner, who owns Psychiatric Associates of Kingsport, also currently faces multiple charges in Sullivan County for an Aug. 19 incident during which he allegedly abandoned his car in the middle of the road and evaded responding officers. According to the medical examiners’ report, officers recovered a pill grinder with white powder inside it and a bottle of Methylphenidate (a stimulant) prescribed to one of Buckner’s patients.
That same day, Washington County officers found his 80-year-old disabled mother — over whom Buckner had medical power of attorney — alone without access to her food or medicine when they conducted a welfare check. Buckner was arrested Aug. 22 in that case and charged with abandoning or confining an elderly or vulnerable adult with no injury.
An affidavit from that case states Buckner’s mother told a sheriff’s officer she had been trying to reach her son for three days unsuccessfully and had not eaten or been given her prescribed medication during that time.
A few days later (Aug. 25), Washington County Sheriff’s Officers again arrested Buckner after a welfare check at his home, where they found him outside “screaming irrationally and speaking incoherently.”
Buckner’s physician convinced law enforcement to take him to Johnson City Medical Center instead of jail given his recent psychosis and issues. He was involuntarily committed and discharged “medically clear and stable” on Aug. 30.
The suspension report noted that although Buckner contacted the Tennessee Medical Foundation Physician’s Health Program in September and the group scheduled an intensive evaluation for early December in Atlanta, he later canceled.
By then, the report states, Tennessee’s controlled substance database had shown that on various dates in October, November and December, Buckner “wrote controlled substance prescriptions to various patients.” They included the patient whose drugs he’d admitted to diverting in August, according to the TDH report.
In addition to Methylphenidate, the prescriptions included Vyvanse (lisdexamfetamine dimesylate), a Schedule II controlled substance that is also a stimulant and carries a boxed warning that it has a high potential for abuse and dependence.
He faces a court hearing in Sullivan County on March 9 on charges of drug paraphernalia, possession of Schedule II drugs, DUI, disorderly conduct and resisting arrest. His next hearing in the Washington County case involving his mother is scheduled for Sept. 6.