The Opioid Problem

There are many different classes of drugs, many of which are helpful for patients in pain or in need of healing. One such type is opioids, which include pain relievers such as oxycodone, hydrocodone, and morphine.

Opioids, however, also contain other types of substances, like heroin and fentanyl, illegal drugs that are extremely harmful. While these seem wildly different than the medications prescribed to patients for pain, there is a reason they are all grouped under the same classification.

The definition of opioid is “a compound resembling opium in addictive properties or psychological effects.” This means that each drug listed as an opioid can be extremely addicting, and, if taken in too large a dose, can even be lethal.

Here at Affiliated Dentists, we do everything possible to help alleviate the discomfort of our patients undergoing procedures. We very rarely need to or want to prescribe narcotic pain medications, though, because of how quickly a person can become addicted. Not only is pill popping extremely dangerous, but it can also be next to impossible to quit.

Instead, when a patient has tooth pain or any type of oral discomfort generated from a dental procedure, we prescribe Ibuprofen, the gold star for reducing inflammation as well as pain. For those who need a little more pain management, there is a much safer solution. According to Anita Aminoshariae, an associate professor at Case Western Reserve University’s School of Dental Medicine, alternating Tylenol and Ibuprofen every four hours provides better relief than taking prescription opioids.

Every doctor at Affiliated Dentists attend continuing education programs that help educate us on what to look for with addictions, and we are all members of programs that monitor drug prescription use in Wisconsin. It is important to us and our staff that our patients are not only healthy, but safe as well.

If you or a loved one is ready for opioid abuse help, the first step is asking your physician for a referral to a medical professional that specializes in medicine addiction. Patients can also find a provider right for them by searching the American Society of Addiction Medicine’s website for specialists in the Madison area.

Affiliated Dentists is also here for you, too. Whether a toothache, a need for oral hygiene, or help with opioid struggles, we are here to help. Do not hesitate to reach out to us or your physician.

The information on this blog is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. All content, including text, graphics, images and information, contained on or available through this web site is for general information purposes only.

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