Dentist Charged With 45 Counts Of Illegally Prescribing Oxycodone

By McCarton Ackerman 09/14/16

Dr. Peter Delaney was detained after a suspected bank robber told police that the dentist illegally supplied him with painkillers. 

Dentist Charged With 45 Counts Of Illegally Prescribing Oxycodone

A Connecticut doctor is facing dozens of charges after he reportedly went well beyond routine cleaning by illegally prescribing oxycodone.

The Hartford Courant reported that Dr. Peter Delaney of West Hartford is facing 45 counts of illegally prescribing controlled medications. His behavior came to light after the February arrest of fellow West Hartford resident and bank robber Kevin W. Baker, who had been obtaining narcotic painkillers from Delaney.

A warrant for Delaney’s arrest said that upon a search of the records at his dental office, police found that there were 45 cases of people receiving painkillers without a legitimate reason or who were never actually treated by the doctor. He later admitted writing the prescriptions, and said he even included antibiotics on them in order to not attract attention.

A source that state police interviewed during their investigation also claimed Delaney was abusing painkillers along with his wife. The doctor would reportedly write the prescriptions in his name and his wife’s name, then have the anonymous source fill them.

Many were surprised that Delaney was initially being held on $1 million cash bail, but prosecutor Vicki Melchiorre argued that he was a flight risk. She claimed that he withdrew all of his money from a local bank and told an employee there that he planned to flee the state because the police were after him. Melchiorre also alleged that Delaney was going to a treatment facility in Georgia so he could avoid being arrested on charges in Connecticut.

But his lawyer, Kevin Smith, successfully had his bail lowered to $500,000 after arguing that there was no evidence to support Melchiorre’s accusations and claiming that Delaney had already forfeited his license to write prescriptions.  

Delaney’s case is an extreme example of a nationwide problem of excessive opioid prescriptions among dentists. The Journal of the American Dental Association noted in July 2011 that “dentists write the third-most prescriptions for immediate-release opioids in the United States.”

George Kenna, an assistant professor of psychiatry and human behavior at Brown University, noted the excessive opioid doling is done despite dentists often not knowing “the appropriate number of doses to prescribe, how many doses a patient uses, or most importantly what patients do with the leftover tablets they have.”

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McCarton Ackerman is a freelance writer and editor living in Portland, Oregon. He has been a contributor for The Fix since October 2011, writing on a wide range of topics ranging from medical marijuana in Colorado to the world's sexiest drug smugglers. Follow him on Linkedin and Twitter.