In March of 2016, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued new guidelines regarding opioid prescriptions. More than 40 Americans die every day from prescription pain reliever overdoses. There is currently an epidemic of overuse, and physicians who prescribe these drugs should be aware of this, as well as helping patients to be aware of the dangers.
As oral surgeons, we often prescribe opioid drugs for pain management after surgery. We will continue to prescribe, and to assist our patients to be as comfortable as possible. Additionally, we would like to raise awareness about opioid abuse, in order to promote optimal health.
Doctors want to help people that are in pain, but they are also worried about misuse and addiction. Since 1999, sales of prescription painkillers have skyrocketed by 300%, and 4 out of 5 heroin addictions began with misuse of prescription opioids.
By communicating effectively with patients, we in the medical industry can help to spread awareness, helping our patients before and after procedures.