Updated: Jul 30
In the last 20 years, opioid prescriptions used to treat acute and chronic pain, have increased greatly in United States and Canada. Trends and studies have shown there are new risks and harms to the public that include substance abuse, overdoses, depression, accidents, and death.
Oral surgeons have suggested opioid prescriptions not longer be a first line prescription but fall behind more common medications such as acetaminophen and nonsterioidal anti-inflammatory drugs. Some also suggest limited it to 36 tablets at 15 milligrams codeine combinations or 24 tablets at 30 mg codeine combinations plus 5 mg oxycodone combinations. Refills for such items should only be allowed after careful evaluation. Studies to check on rates of opioid dispense in some Canadian areas showed the rate of prescriptions remained the same but there is less overall volume of opioids being distributed. However stricter guidelines provided in the United States showed far less prescription rates and volume. Looking at some age groups, age 19 to 24 was most likely to receive opioids especially in the summer. This was linked to 3rd molar surgical extractions that often occurred in the summers. Some scholars feel that this same age group was more vulnerable to poioid misused or disorder. One survey found people aged 15 through 34 have higher rates of opioid related deaths in Canada.
Brian Y. Kuo DDS FAGD
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