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Boyd County doctor arrested for drug use

A Boyd County cardiologist was arrested Monday for driving under the influence of drugs and possession of cocaine and pills.

Kentucky State Police stopped Dr. John Van Deren III, who was eastbound on Interstate 64 near the Coalton exit, after they observed his vehicle sway from side to side, crossing the center line and then the reflective fog line.

Police asked Van Deren, 50, if there was anything illegal in his car and he said there was, according the citation.

Officers seized cocaine, as well as several hydrocodone and oxycodone pills from the vehicle.

Van Deren, whose eyes were glassy and bloodshot, had trouble following instructions and performed poorly on field sobriety tests, and his speech was slurred, the citation said.

He told officers he had taken hydrocodone and cocaine, but he refused to take blood and urine tests for drugs.

Van Deren is a practicing cardiologist at King's Daughters Medical Center in Ashland.

He was held in the Boyd County Detention Center and released on $2,500 bond on Tuesday. He is scheduled to be arraigned in Boyd County District Court on Nov. 19.

Van Deren is charged with first-degree possession of cocaine and two counts of second-degree possession of a controlled substance. He also is charged with two counts of having a controlled substance that was not in its original container, as well as careless driving and driving under the influence.

First-degree possession of cocaine is a Class D felony that carries a maximum penalty of five years in prison. The other charges are misdemeanors.

King's Daughters Hospital spokesman Tom Dearing said in a statement that the hospital had not made any decision about disciplining Van Deren.

"This is a personal and private matter," the statement said. "Dr. Van Deren is an excellent physician who is an important part of this community. We will respect his privacy while he works through this issue."

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