Nurse charged with stealing painkillers from drug dispenser

March 13, 2008 7:34:29 AM PDT
A Valparaiso hospital nurse who was found passed out with a needle in her hand has been accused of stealing painkillers. Thirty-three-year-old Tracy Allen of Portage is charged with felony theft. Police say the Porter Valparaiso Hospital nurse took liquid painkillers from a medicine dispensing machine and replaced them with salt water.

Valparaiso police say that another nurse reported apparent tampering with a bottle of painkiller in January. The same day, Allen was found passed out on the floor.

A phone message left for Allen by The Associated Press was not immediately returned.

Police say Allen told them she began using painkillers after suffering a back injury.