For some people, their very first exposure to highly addictive opioids comes after a visit to the dentist. Many people who have their wisdom teeth removed are given a prescription for an opioid to help manage the pain and discomfort following the minor oral surgery. The majority of patients who have their wisdom teeth removed are between the ages of 13-30 and a recent study shows that up to 80% of those individuals filled an opioid prescription and up to 70% of those who fill their first prescription from their dentist continue to take the drugs longer than necessary. Opioid addiction is a huge problem in our country, with more than 70,000 deaths in 2017.
Dentists have responded to this issue in a very responsible way by significantly decreasing their prescribing habits after wisdom teeth extraction and/or other oral surgery. In fact, many dentists are now recommending alternating prescription strength ibuprofen (800 mg) and tylenol (1500 mg) can effectively manage the pain and discomfort after surgery. If a dentist is concerned about opioid use, a dentist in South Carolina can now also check a website (PMP) to see if a patient has been prescribed opioids in the past to help determine what course of action to take with that patient after a dental procedure.
When you use opioids for a long period of time, they become less effective for relieving pain, and your pain actually gets worse. Your body can develop a dependency and you can experience withdrawal symptoms when you try to stop taking them. Many attempt to take more than the prescribed amount for longer than is recommended and addiction begins to develop. The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) estimates that there are more than 200,000 cases in the United States each year.
If you or a loved one is struggling with opioid addiction, you may very well need professional help in order to regain control over your life. The Forrester Center for Behavioral Health specializes in Substance Use Disorder treatment, Non-Substance Behavioral Health therapy, as well as Education and Prevention services. We are a leading substance abuse treatment facility in the Upstate with more than four decades of experience helping teens and adults.
For more information about opioid addiction or to speak with a member of our team, call The Forrester Center for Behavioral Health today at 864-582-7588.