The Local Aftermath of Pharma Greed -- Delmarva Area Saturated with Opioid Pills According to DEA Files


Delaware and Maryland towns and counties are all too aware of how overdose deaths, particularly from opioids have skyrocketed in the last decade. But until recently, the public did not know the extent that common opioids, such as oxycontin and hydrocodone had been prescribed and dispensed in local areas.

Thanks to a lawsuit filed by the Washington Post, United States Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) data showing how many pills were ordered in counties across the US are now available in a searchable database to the public.

According to the database, in rural Cecil County, MD, the county was supplied with over 36 million aprescription pain pills from 2006 to 2012, enough for 51 pills per person per year. Kent County, MD was supplied with enough prescription pain pills so that every resident could have 59 pills per year, for a total of over 8 million pills available in that county alone.

In Delaware and elsewhere, the numbers were just as startling, in all three Delaware counties, over 276 million prescription pain pills were supplied in the state.

As these areas became saturated in opioid pain pills, death rates skyrocketed. Addiction became a local, state, and national problem.

Domenica Personti, CEO of Recovery Center of America’s Bracebridge Hall, an inpatient facility in Earleville, MD in Cecil County on the Delmarva peninsula voiced outrage at the greed of the pharma industry “I interact with individuals every day whose lives and whose families have been devastated by addiction—but they are alive. They want to live and thrive. Every day I see the pain, the fear, the depression, and the anxiety that our patients face as they struggle to recover from addiction. The greed behind this crisis makes me very angry but it also motivates me to be their advocate. We aim to be their voice until they find theirs.”

Personti further stated that the unborn children of opioid addicted mothers need a advocate as well and few treatment centers can help pregnant addicted mothers. Recovery Centers of America at Bracebridge Hall, does provide a treatment program to help these patients.

Personti has a Master’s degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling and a bachelor’s degree in Human Services with a minor in Criminal Justice. Additionally, Domenica’s passion and work has brought her many invitations to speak and to educate policymakers on addiction treatment. She testified at the White House in 2015 about treating justice involved women with Medication-Assisted-Treatment and assisted with former Delaware Governor Carney’s transition team committee on behavioral health. Domenica has worked with Maryland and Delaware legislators on many issues impacting vulnerable populations such as addiction, harm reduction, domestic violence, and youth violence prevention. She recently joined the Cecil County Drug Task Force, is a sector leader/subject matter expert on the Cecil County Drug Free Communities Coalition, a member of the Delaware Fatal Overdose Review Committee, and currently serves as a Board member for the Delaware Center for Justice.

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