Does the Dental Industry Has an Opioid Script Problem?

Recent studies show that the dental industry in America may be an essential link in the addiction crisis, with nearly half of dental prescriptions exceeding prescription guidelines for acute pain management.

The research, published today in the American Journal of Preventative Medicine, covered a five-year study period of dental prescriptions.

What Do the Numbers Say?

Dentists are a vital component in addiction prevention that has often been overlooked in research studies. However, the dental industry is responsible for 10% of all opioid prescriptions in the United States. Yet, in three out of ten prescriptions, dentists prescribed a more powerful opioid than necessary following painful procedures. And the prescriptions were typically for longer than three days, which is the current opioid prescription guideline for acute surgery pain.

For the study, the researchers analyzed data on nearly 550,000 dental visits by …

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Drug Testing Teens at Home

To help combat teenage drug abuse, many parents are turning to do-it-yourself drug tests. Home drug testing kits are now widely available on the Internet and in many pharmacies. These tests typically use urine, hair or saliva to test for a panel of drugs that may include marijuana, cocaine, amphetamines and opioids.

There is no question about the importance of stopping teenage drug abuse. Because the body and brain are undergoing critical development during adolescence, drug use can be especially damaging to a teen’s health and emotional well-being.

Studies have shown that the earlier a teenager begins using drugs, the greater the risk of developing drug dependence or addiction. However, there is limited evidence that home drug tests are an effective way to deal with teen drug abuse.

According to a 2008 article in U.S. New & World Report, there …

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