A local dentist was arrested after he allegedly gave drugs illegally to his wife and employees.
Dr. Chad Gretzula, 44, and his wife Rebecca Gretzula, 32, are accused of distributing drugs, including fentanyl and hydrocodone at their dental practice in Berwyn, Pennsylvania.
“This is a case about a doctor recklessly abusing his license and supplying drugs to an addict,” said Chester County District Attorney Tom Hogan. “The fact that the doctor and addict were husband and wife is a stark reminder about the destructive power of these opiates.”
Investigators say Dr. Gretzula illegally prescribed drugs for his wife and other members of his office staff. Rebecca Gretzula was using up to 500 pills of hydrocodone per month and injecting herself with fentanyl while the couple’s children were playing in their home on the 2100 block of Yellow Springs Road in Malvern, Pennsylvania, according to officials.
Investigators said she often locked herself in the bathroom inside her home while injecting herself so that her four children couldn’t enter.
“A mother was willing to use hydrocodone and shoot up fentanyl while she was supposed to be caring for her children,” Hogan said. “Sadly this is neither the first nor the last family to be destroyed by these powerful prescription drugs.”
Dr. Gretzula was the managing partner of Absolute Oral Surgery, P.C. on East Lancaster Avenue in Berwyn. His wife worked as a sedation nurse at the practice and would administer sedation and anesthesia. She allegedly filled the fentanyl bottles with saline solution after using the drugs, returned the bottles to the office and then used the saline-filled bottles to sedate her patients.
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During an investigation, officials learned Dr. Gretzula wrote prescriptions for drugs for his wife, two staff members and a juvenile. The prescriptions included hydrocodone, Xanax, Norco, Dilaudid and Opana, Schedule II narcotics which are highly addictive and often create a physical and psychological dependence, officials said.
Investigators said Gretzula did not have a doctor-patient relationship with his wife, staff members or the juvenile and was prescribing the drugs “well outside the scope of any acceptable medical standard.”
Gretzula allegedly wrote prescriptions in his wife’s maiden name with a false address in order to bypass protocol. Police also say he often picked up the drugs for his wife, arguing with pharmacies that refused to allow him to prescribe to his wife and lied to pharmacies about whether the drugs were for her.
He also stole drugs from his office for his wife’s personal use, police said.
On April 9, officials executed search warrants at Gretzula’s home as well as his practice. Police say they found 18 empty prescription bottles for various drugs written for Gretzula’s wife, three unopened 20 milliliter bottles of fentanyl, six empty 20 milliliter bottles of fentanyl, saline syringes and drug paraphernalia. They also seized ten bottles of fentanyl, prescriptions and other drug paraphernalia from Absolute Oral Surgery.
Dr. Gretzula’s Pennsylvania State Medical License is temporarily suspended pending a hearing and his DEA registration was forfeited.
If you have any additional information on the case, please call Detective Michael Sesher of the Easttown Police Department at 610-341-9780 or John Hamrick, Public Information Officer for the DEA, at 215-800-7761.