By: Shannon Persad
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New Jersey Doctor Guilty of Prescribing Opioids to Strangers
New Jersey has been hit hard from the opioid epidemic and doing anything they can to alleviate the problem.
New information has come out about a Bergen County doctor, Robert Delagante, who plead guilty to insurance fraud last year, has also prescribed opioids to strangers. Delagente has referred to himself as “Candyman” and the “El Chapo of Opioids.”
In a press release from the Department of Justice, District of New Jersey:
“Delagente prescribed controlled substances without ever seeing the purported patient for a medical visit or even discussing with the patient the medical need for the prescription. He allowed patients to ask him for controlled substances via text message and would write a prescription for patients that he would leave at the front desk, without requiring an office visit or consultation of any kind. He allowed patients to dictate the strength and dosage of the controlled substances he prescribed for them. Delagente also prescribed the dangerous drug combination known as the “Holy Trinity,” comprised of opioids (usually oxycodone), benzodiazepines (usually alprazolam) and muscle relaxers (usually carisoprodol).”
New Jersey’s Fight Against Opioid Abuse
New Jersey has always fought abnormally high amounts of prescription opioids in their state. Between 2006 to 2012, 1.5 billion painkillers made its way to NJ. Luckily, that has reduced in recent years.
According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), “In 2017, New Jersey providers wrote 44.2 opioid prescriptions for every 100 persons (Figure 2), compared to the average U.S. rate of 58.7 prescriptions. This is the lowest rate in the state since data became available in 2006.”
NJCares.gov reports that New Jersey prescribed 3,990,809 opioids in 2019, a 6.9% reduction from 2018.
In 2019, opioid overdose deaths reduced by 3% in NJ for the first time, showing that New Jersey’s various efforts to curb the problem may have worked.
How to Get Help for Opioid Abuse in New Jersey
If you or someone you know is suffering from opioid addiction in New Jersey or any other substance abuse, contact ATSI at 1-(855)-498-2121 for a confidential consultation.