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Wisdom Teeth Extraction Patients Given Opioid Much More Likely to Get Addicted

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In the midst of the opioid epidemic that claims nearly 90 lives in America each day, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), researchers are scrambling to identify the worst sources of opiate addiction and stem them. A team of researchers from the University of Michigan seems to have made a recent breakthrough after determining dental patients who were prescribed opioid painkillers following a wisdom tooth extraction were about 270% more likely to refill prescriptions or become addicted. The complete findings were shared with The Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA).

The study focused mostly but not solely on people aged between 13 and 30 years, and all study group patients had been given an opioid prescription within a short amount of time before or after wisdom tooth work. There was also the added distinction of those studied having not filled any opioid prescription for at least half a year before their wisdom tooth extraction procedure. The goal was to narrow down the study to one specific cause.

Nearly 27,000 patient files were studied, each dating between 2009 and 2015. Researchers were able to track continued opioid use in wisdom tooth extraction patients who both used their opioid prescriptions or chose to never get it filled. 1.3% of patients who used their prescribed opioids refilled their prescription at least one more time, despite the recovery time being over, indicating a forming addiction. Only 0.5% of patients who did not use their prescribed opioids would later develop an opiate addiction for separate reasons. Furthermore, it was concluded that people aged between 18 and 28, people with mental health concerns, and people with chronic pain from other sources were markedly more likely to form an addiction following a wisdom tooth extraction.

(For more information about wisdom tooth extractions and opioid addiction, you can click here to view a full article from The Inquirer of Philly.com. Subscription or login information may be required.)

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The research completed by the University of Michigan will hopefully play an instrumental role in reshaping how and why dentists prescribe opioids to patients in the fight against the opioid epidemic. However, they cannot stop opioid addiction on their own. Everyone needs to stand up to this threat to the public’s health, including those who are struggling with substance abuse themselves.

If you or a loved one have a problem with opioid use, perhaps after a wisdom tooth extraction or another medical procedure, come to The PAC Program for professional guidance and support along the path to recovery. Our Arizona drug treatment center accepts young men between the ages of 18 to 30. By intentionally focusing the demographic we assist, we have been able to create more effective six-to-nine-month recovery programs you can truly depend on.