A dentist who reused needles, putting thousands of patients in danger of deadly diseases, is now accused of manipulating his clients to get drugs.
The Colorado Board of Dental Examiners says Dr. Stephen Stein was under the influence of drugs while seeing patients.
Denver police are still investigating Stein for possible prescription fraud. He had offices in Highlands Ranch and Cherry Creek. He has agreed to surrender his dental license after the Colorado Department of Health and Environment found he used two addictive pain killers while practicing.
The Colorado Board of Dental Examiners says Stein admits being a drug addict. The board says he was using drugs that were meant for patients.
The state health department accuses Stein of writing prescriptions for vicodin and vicoprofen to his patients. Prior to their procedures he asked the patients to bring the actual prescription to their appointment, but used it for himself, according to the Board of Dental Examiners.
“It’s devastating, devastation,” Bonnie Wing said. Wing is one Stein’s former patients along with Luke Crespi. Both were devastated when the health department asked them to get tested for HIV, hepatitis B and C.
“I’m in there hoping and knowing he’s my answer to take care of me and I’m going to walk out of there better, not worse,” Crespi said.
An investigation into the dentist began with an anonymous complaint that he was misusing drugs. In a final agency order the Board of Dental Examiners accuses Stein of saving unused drugs in syringes, and then combining the medications into another syringe to be used on another patient.
The board also says Stein called in a prescription for a patient but picked it up for himself at the pharmacy.
“Shame on you in having a professional license and serving the public and inflicting what could be life-threatening to so many innocent people,” Wing said.
Of the 8,000 patients asked to get tested for HIV and hepatitis, the board says three people tested positive for the infectious diseases, although it’s unknown if the infections are related to Stein’s practice.
In the board’s report Stein says he continues to be treated for his drug addiction.