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Wednesday, April 4, 2018

Turn The Tide on Opioids

There is a wave of reducing the prescriptions for opioids recently and that's a good thing!
We signed the pledge to #TurnTheTide on opioids on https://turnthetiderx.org, a site supported by the Surgeon General of the US, Cigna and other big names. You know there is something going on and there is a better chance to make things happen when the big hats get involved.
We believe in avoiding pain in the first place if possible,  that's why we start with Laser surgery to reduce post-operative pain whenever possible. And  we don't prescribe opioids anyway unless absolutely necessary and they are the LAST resort in managing pain.

Opioids are drugs that work by reducing the intensity of pain signals that reach your brain. These drugs can be helpful for a short time but they have serious risks.  

Let's not get into how we arrived here, nearly two decades ago US doctors were encouraged to be more aggressive about treating pain, often without enough training and support to do so safely. And this coincided with heavy marketing of opioids. Many doctors were even taught – incorrectly – that opioids are not addictive when prescribed for legitimate pain.

The results have been devastating. Since then the opioid overdose deaths have quadrupled and the prescriptions have increased tremendously, yet the amount of pain reported by Americans has not changed. Now, nearly 2 million people in America have a prescription opioid use disorder, contributing to increased heroin use and the spread of HIV and hepatitis C.

But we can turn this around, and everyone has do their part and it starts with each and every one of us.

A major way that people become addicted and overdose is by using someone else's opioid medications. So we should all store and dispose of those pills safely, keep opioid painkillers in a safe place and out of reach of others. Make sure to responsibly dispose of any unused opioids, check for any drug take-back program or your pharmacy mail-back or return program in your community to safely dispose of unused opioids. Please ask our office at Aliso Viejo Dental too, we can help with safe disposal of pain killers or other unused medications.

Opioid use disorder can occur when a patient has a hard time controlling his or her opioid use, which lead to significant health or social problems. There are effective treatments for opioid use disorder available, if you or someone you know has an addiction to pain medication, talk to your doctor or contact the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s treatment help line at (800) 662-HELP.

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