Current Suspected Overdose Deaths in Delaware for 2018: 208 logo

Delaware Health Alert Network #374

January 31, 2017 1:56 pm

Health Advisory

The Division of Public Health (DPH) is issuing this health advisory to advise health care providers that the licenses to prescribe schedule II controlled substances of New Castle County physicians Dr. B. Grossinger, Dr. S. Grossinger, and Dr. J. Brajer have been suspended for six months. For further information on the suspension by the Department of State, visit The physicians may continue to practice medicine but may not write schedule II controlled substance prescriptions.


This notice follows a previous Health Alert sent last week regarding the suspension of Sussex physician Eva C. Dickinson’s medical license due to alleged drug-related criminal activity.

While circumstances may vary, there may be patients of either practice who wish to obtain opioids for pain management and/or individuals addicted to opiates who are at a higher risk of drug-seeking behavior, using street drugs, and overdosing.


Certain individuals with regular access to opioids — particularly if they are not well monitored by a medical practice — may be at significantly higher risk for addiction and overdose. As many as one in four people in the U.S. who receive prescription opioids long term for non-cancer pain in primary care settings struggle with addiction. Medical providers prescribing opioids should monitor patients closely, screen for addiction risk, and consider non-opioid medications for treatment of chronic pain.


As the addiction epidemic continues to grow in Delaware and throughout the country, DPH is recommending that:

  • Medical providers and law enforcement should be especially vigilant about potential patient overdoses or those with drug-seeking behavior
  • Prescribers should evaluate patients for substance use disorder risk as part of any regular clinical visits but especially if they will be prescribing opioids. A sample opioid risk assessment tool can be found at the link below in the “Additional Information” section.
  • If a patient appears to be at risk for substance abuse disorder, consider alternatives to opioids and/or monitor opiod use very closely. To the extent possible, use non-opioid therapies such as:
    • Rehabilitative services and physical therapy
    • Cognitive behavior therapy and relaxation techniques
    • Exercise and strength training
    • Non-opioid medications: acetaminophen; non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs); serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs); tricyclic antidepressants (TCAs)
  • For further information on substance abuse disorder for community members and medical providers, visit “Help is Here” at: For a list of current locations that offer outpatient, inpatient, detoxification, recovery support, and recovery living, visit
  • To reduce “doctor-shopping” and to check the patient’s history for controlled substances, query the Prescription Drug Monitoring Program at
  • For those serving pregnant or reproductive-age women, consider also screening for alcohol abuse by using screening tools such as the T-ACE questionnaire, which can be found on and via Google.
  • Patients should be reminded to avoid taking opioids with alcohol and sedatives or tranquilizers, including benzodiazepines (i.e. Xanax and Valium); muscle relaxants (i.e. Soma or Flexeril); sleeping pills or hypnotics (i.e. Ambien or Lunesta); and other prescription opioid pain relievers unless prescribed and carefully monitored by a health care provider.
  • Patients should be reminded to lock all medications up or put them out of the way of anyone, including children or pets, who might try to consume them, whether by accident or on purpose. Patients can safely dispose of any unused medications at Delaware prescription medication drop boxes. There are 14 permanent drop boxes at this time. For a complete list of locations, visit

Additional Information


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