For Your Dental Health

Block The Path To Addiction

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration of the US Department of health and Human Services estimates that nearly 2 million people are currently abusing or are dependent on prescription painkillers. The Nation is facing a serious substance abuse problem. It is an epidemic with alarming statistics. The number of fatal drug overdoses outnumbered the number of fatal motor vehicle accidents in the US for the first time in 2009. In 2014 more than 28,000 people died from opioid related drug overdoses ranging from legally prescribed painkillers to street obtained heroin. In 2015, according to the Surgeon General report on Alcohol Drugs and Health 12.5 million Americans misused prescription pain relievers, 20 million had full blown substance abuse disorders and 78 people died every day from opioid overdose. This rate is increasing according to Disease Control and Prevention which reported that 91 people died every day from opioid overdose in 2016. More than 11% of Americans reported non-medical use of prescription painkillers at some point in their lives in a study done according to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism.
The outgoing US Surgeon General Vivek H.Murthy recognized substance abuse disorders as “one of the most pressing public health crises of our time.” Because of these increasing mortality rates caused by substance misuse the CDC has lowered white Americans’ life expectancy by 4 months. It found that other population groups were not adversely affected by opioid mortality mostly because they have more difficulty getting access to prescription painkillers. The misuse of narcotic drugs has not only caused the shortened life expectancy but has significantly diminished the quality of life for the abuser and their family and the community at large. It costs the US an estimated $200 billion a year in lost productivity, healthcare interventions and law enforcement efforts. By comparison a serious disease like diabetes costs 245 billion each year in lost productivity and healthcare resources. In the dental office patients come in with acute pain for an abscess, infected root canal, implant surgery and pain killers are usually prescribed for teeth extractions mostly third molar extractions.
As health care professionals, parents and caregivers it is our responsibility to inform that adolescent, that teenager, that 18 or 19-year-old, about how these drugs are powerful agents, they are mind altering agents and if they are going to play around with these narcotics they could severely hurt themselves and others. We should let them know people die from overdosing on them and they could get arrested for using or distributing narcotics. They could even go to jail, be expelled from school or fired from a job and totally wreck their life.
Apollo Dental Care is the dental office of Dr. Sue Padavettan, D.D.S. Dr. Sue has 15 years of experience in dentistry. Graduated from USC with outstanding achievement award for restorative dentistry and was elected member of Honor Dental Society by the Zeta Chapter and is a active member and ADA, CDA and CCDS.
Apollo Dental Care is located at 4530 Balfour Rd. Suite C in Brentwood. They can be contacted at 925-634-5061.