Drug Addict Dentist Reused Needles on Patients

By McCarton Ackerman 08/30/12

A Colorado dentist may have infected multiple patients with HIV as a result of his addiction.

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Dr. Stein admits to stealing drugs from his
patients to fuel his habit.
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A Colorado dentist who admitted to reusing needles on his patients and prompted more than 8,000 people to be tested for HIV said his actions stemmed in part from a drug addiction. Dr. Stephen Stein had his dental practice save unused portions of medication—including Vicodin and Vicoprofen—and combine the medications into one syringe to be used on other patients, resulting in the reuse of syringes and needles. State health officials say three people may have been infected with HIV as a result. Stein signed a Stipulation and Final Agency Order in which he admitted to a long battle with drug dependency and voluntarily relinquished his license to practice dentistry in the state. Stein wrote patient prescriptions for Vicodin and Vicoprofen and told them to bring the medication to their appointments, but the drugs were then diverted for his own personal use. An anonymous complaint was sent to the Board of Dental Examiners in June 2011 that accused Stein of misusing controlled substances and stating that he was "disabled" by his addiction. Stein admitted to the board that he sought treatment for his chemical dependency in the summer of 1998. By voluntarily relinquishing his license, he will be able to apply for a new license to practice in two years.

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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.

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