Membership Matters - March 2018 - 24

Dentists Take Bite Out of
Opioid Epidemic
OPIOID CRISIS

By Zane Sparling

ON OPIOIDS, THE NEWS CAN
SEEM ALL bad.
But quietly, and without spending a dime,
Multnomah County has slashed in half the
number of pain pills prescribed at dental
health clinics serving 25,000 low-income
patients a year.
Official records shared with The Outlook
show the number of prescriptions for
opioids and high-strength sedatives plunged
46 percent in two years across the county
dental system.
One prescriber, whose name was not
included for privacy reasons, went from
writing 176 high-risk prescriptions in 2014 to
just five in 2016.
The change-largely unheralded outside
government board rooms-will undoubtedly
help protect community members from

an addictive epidemic that kills 142
Americans every day.
"I've never worked in a place where people
care more about patients' welfare," says
Dr. Len Barozzini, who spearheaded the
policy shift. "We, as a nation, have a long
way to go."
Barozzini has served as county dental
director for almost four years, overseeing
about 40 dentists and 130 total employees
located in six health centers, five sited east
of the Willamette River.
The largest clinic, with 13 chairs, is located
at the East County Health Center on Eighth
Street in Gresham. Another bustling clinic off
182nd Avenue aids Rockwood residents.
The county dental system's overall decline
in Schedule II drugs, which Ohare classified
as having a "high potential for abuse" by the

©ISTOCK.COM/TOMAS NEVESELY

Reprinted with
permission from
The Outlook, Pamplin
Media Group

Pain pill prescriptions plunge 50 percent in
two years at Multnomah County dental clinics.

24

Membership Matters

Oregon Dental Association


http://www.ISTOCK.COM/TOMAS

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Membership Matters - March 2018

Nicaragua
New Members, Board Meeting Highlights
Events and Education
Molar Movement
Insider Results
ODA Member Benefit of the Month
Compliance Corner
Through the Loupes
The Importance of Emotional Intelligence in Dentistry
Dentists Take Bite Out of Opioid Epidemic
Service to Veterans
Dental Foundation of Oregon
Health Beyond Communities
Index of Advertisers
Classified Ads
Membership Matters - March 2018 - Intro
Membership Matters - March 2018 - cover1
Membership Matters - March 2018 - cover2
Membership Matters - March 2018 - 3
Membership Matters - March 2018 - 4
Membership Matters - March 2018 - Nicaragua
Membership Matters - March 2018 - 6
Membership Matters - March 2018 - New Members, Board Meeting Highlights
Membership Matters - March 2018 - 8
Membership Matters - March 2018 - Events and Education
Membership Matters - March 2018 - Molar Movement
Membership Matters - March 2018 - 11
Membership Matters - March 2018 - 12
Membership Matters - March 2018 - Insider Results
Membership Matters - March 2018 - 14
Membership Matters - March 2018 - ODA Member Benefit of the Month
Membership Matters - March 2018 - Compliance Corner
Membership Matters - March 2018 - 17
Membership Matters - March 2018 - Through the Loupes
Membership Matters - March 2018 - 19
Membership Matters - March 2018 - The Importance of Emotional Intelligence in Dentistry
Membership Matters - March 2018 - 21
Membership Matters - March 2018 - 22
Membership Matters - March 2018 - 23
Membership Matters - March 2018 - Dentists Take Bite Out of Opioid Epidemic
Membership Matters - March 2018 - 25
Membership Matters - March 2018 - Service to Veterans
Membership Matters - March 2018 - 27
Membership Matters - March 2018 - 28
Membership Matters - March 2018 - Dental Foundation of Oregon
Membership Matters - March 2018 - Health Beyond Communities
Membership Matters - March 2018 - 31
Membership Matters - March 2018 - 32
Membership Matters - March 2018 - 33
Membership Matters - March 2018 - Classified Ads
Membership Matters - March 2018 - cover3
Membership Matters - March 2018 - cover4
Membership Matters - March 2018 - outsert1
Membership Matters - March 2018 - outsert2
Membership Matters - March 2018 - outsert3
Membership Matters - March 2018 - outsert4
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