Clinician Alert: Portland pain clinic closes amid allegations of illegal opioid distribution

July 29, 2016

The Drug Enforcement Administration this week charged nearly two dozen individuals with conspiring to dispense and distribute oxycodone and hydrocodone from the Fusion Wellness Clinic in southeast Portland. A summary from the DEA can be found here. We do not yet know how many of the estimated 400 clients served since January 2015 have underlying medical conditions versus how many are involved in diversion of prescription opioids for non-medical use. Regardless, we have multiple potential health concerns for the population using the clinic. Portland-area clinicians may encounter former Fusion Wellness clients at risk of overdose, suffering from withdrawal, or living with opioid substance use disorder.

Recommendations for Practitioners

Prescribe the opioid antagonist naloxone to former clients of Fusion Wellness to help prevent fatal overdose. Strongly consider prescribing naloxone for any patient receiving chronic opioids. Refer former Fusion Wellness clients with substance use disorder to recovery treatment. Regional and county-specific referral lines are listed below.

Former Fusion Wellness clients may have physiologic dependence on prescription opioids; consult the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Guideline for advice on tapering opioids.

Enroll in and check the Prescription Drug Monitoring Program (PDMP) to identify dangerous prescribing patterns before starting any client on opioids and every 3 months for patients receiving chronic opioids. Whenever opioids are considered for acute or chronic pain, follow the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Guidelines which were adopted by the Oregon Health Authority  Prescribing Guideline Task Force in June 2016.

Substance Abuse Treatment Referrals

  • Lines for Life 800-273-8255
  • Clackamas County ¬†503-655-8585
  • Multnomah County, 503-988-4888
  • Washington County 503-291-9111

Clackamas County Public Health: 503-655-8411

Multnomah County Public Health: 503-988-3406

Washington County Public Health: 503-846-3594