Combatting America’s Opioid Epidemic One Patient at a Time
According to the National Institute of Drug Abuse, every day more than 130 people in the United States die from opioid overdoses. In 2017 alone, nearly 1.7 million people suffered from Substance Use Disorder (SUD) related to prescription opioid pain relievers. This epidemic is dangerous and is growing at a rapid pace.
At Great Expressions Dental Centers, we take a personal approach to combating opioid abuse by tending and treating each patient as an individual. When opioids are needed for acute pain, medication is only prescribed for three days or less in an effort to avoid drug misuse or addiction. While we can’t change America’s opioid epidemic overnight, our dedicated teams work tirelessly to make a difference one patient at a time.
As an organization rooted in continued education, we make it a priority to counsel our patients when pain medication is needed after extensive dental procedures. When it comes to pain management, often times, opioids are not needed. Our dentists work in close collaboration with patients to outline an aftercare plan that fits their specific needs and lifestyle. On a rare occasion that the medication is needed, specifically longer than three days, it is mandatory that the prescription is documented in the patient’s dental files. Additionally, we encourage our patients to connect with the Prescription Drug Monitoring Program (PDMP) for further education and accountability during their course of healing.
The care and wellbeing of our patients is our top priority. We understand the role we play in preventing prescription drug misuse; therefore, we promote education and accountability across Great Expressions locations across the nation.
If you know someone that is struggling with SUD, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration has a 24-hour national hotline that offers free and confidential assistance. Please call 1-800-662-4357 or visit here to learn more.