Local News

Smithfield substance abuse counselor accused of unlicensed practice

Posted May 5

— Police say the executive director of a counseling and addiction treatment center in Smithfield was practicing without a license.

Demetria Zanita Brooks was arrested Thursday on charges of embezzlement, counseling without a license and providing prescriptions with physician authorization. More charges are expected.

Brooks heads The Raven, at 1652 Booker Dairy Road, and Smithfield narcotics investigators talked to former patients and employees of the clinic for two months before making the arrest, police said.

The Raven was empty on Friday, and a sign on the door said it was closed. Attempts to contact the center by phone were unsuccessful.

Sources told WRAL News that the center operated somewhat like a methadone clinic, using drugs to ween patients off addictions.

Police said the investigation likely involved hundreds of patients.

Brooks previously worked at Garner Lighthouse, at 332 N. Brightleaf Blvd. in Smithfield, and police are looking at filing charges against her in connection with that work.

"Demetria Brooks did work with our non-profit clinic, as a non-paid, volunteer director, until this past February when she chose to start her own clinic. At Garner Lighthouse, we only have licensed substance abuse counselors. I am deeply disappointed to hear she began to charge for substance abuse counseling.  She was never taught do so," a spokesperson for Garner Lighthouse said in a statement.

Smithfield police asked that anyone who received substance abuse treatment from Brooks at The Raven or Garner Lighthouse in the last year contact the department's Narcotics Division at 919-934-2121.

Brooks is out of jail on bond.


Please with your WRAL.com account to comment on this story. You also will need a Facebook account to comment.

Oldest First
View all