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Governor Jeb Bush's daughter is arrested
in Xanax Prescription Fraud

MSN & NBC News · January 29, 2002

TALLAHASSEE, Fla., January 29, 2002 - Gov. Jeb Bush's daughter was charged with prescription fraud Tuesday after she allegedly used the name of a doctor who no longer practices in Tallahassee to try to buy an anti-anxiety drug at a pharmacy. Bush and his wife, Columba, issued a statement acknowledging substance abuse by their daughter, Noelle, 24, and asked for privacy.

[Florida police released this photo of Noelle Bush taken when she was booked overnight.]

"Columba and I are deeply saddened over an incident that occurred last night involving our daughter Noelle," the governor, a brother of President Bush, said in the statement. "This is a very serious problem. Unfortunately, substance abuse is an issue confronting many families across our nation.

"We ask the public and the media to respect our family's privacy during this difficult time so that we can help our daughter," he added. "We will have no further comment on this issue."

Asked about the arrest later at an unrelated news conference, the governor said only, "It's a private matter. It's really hard."


Police said the arrest involved the anti-anxiety drug Xanax, a sedative that can become addictive and is often abused for its heroin-like effect of slowing the brain down.

A Tallahassee Police report released Tuesday said the incident started when a woman claiming to be a doctor called a Tallahassee Walgreens, authorizing a prescription for Noelle Bush.

The pharmacy checked with a colleague of the doctor, Dr. Noel Scidmore, who said he was no longer practicing in Tallahassee and that the phoned-in prescription should be treated as fraudulent.

Pharmacist Carlos Zimmerman said Noelle Bush later called the pharmacy to ask about the prescription and was told it couldn't be filled because no quantity was given, according to police. Someone claiming to be Scidmore called back and gave a quantity. When Noelle Bush called back she was told the prescription would be ready in about 40 minutes, according to the report.

Police were called when she arrived for the prescription, and she was arrested while waiting in her car in the drive-thru lane early Tuesday morning.

Noelle Bush later admitted to police that the contact number for Scidmore that was left on the pharmacy answering machine was her second home phone line, investigators said.

She was released Tuesday and is scheduled to appear in court on Jan. 31 for a pre-trial hearing.


Noelle Bush is the second of three children. The others are George, 25, and Jebby, 18.

She graduated from Tallahassee Community College in 2000 and attended Florida State University during the 2000-2001 academic year, but is not currently enrolled, the university registrar's office said.

She was supposed to start a new job at a software company Tuesday. Tom Lynch, president of Infinity Software, said Noelle Bush had been hired as an administrative assistant. As for her future with the company, he said: "I don't know what the facts are yet. I want to hear from her."


Xanax is the brand name for the anti-anxiety drug known generically as alprazolam, widely prescribed for treating anxiety, panic attacks and sleep disorders.

It's a member of a class of tranquilizers known as benzodiazepines, which includes Valium and Halcion.

Xanax is commonly misused to create an alcohol-like high, with feelings of euphoria and increased sociability.

Use can lead to profound psychological and physical dependence, including severe symptoms of withdrawal.

Xanax often abused for easy 'high', MSN & NBC News, January 29, 2002.

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