Dentists Prescribing Opiates

As I have stated before, the United States is in an Opioid crisis that is almost irreparable. In fact, this Opioid crisis makes the HIV epidemic in the 1980’s and 90’s look like cold & flu season! I really hate to blame anybody for this but let’s get real; everybody’s to blame. I mean how did we not see this coming? When I was a practicing opiate user back in the late 80’s and 90’s, I doctor shopped. I was working 13 different doctor’s offices at one time in order to get all the pills that I needed. That was just in Fresno alone. That doesn’t count all the walk-in clinics and emergency rooms in the rest of the state of California that I frequented. Not once was I ever questioned by a doctor, a pharmacy or the DEA. The only time I was questioned was in 1997 when I forged a prescription and never was there a legal charge against me. I’m still amazed.

I don’t know whether its stupidity or ignorance in the minds of physicians, dentists, pharmaceutical companies and lawmakers, but it’s time someone starts making these individuals accountable for the mess they have created.  Otherwise how do we make sure it doesn’t happen again? We should have stopped Hitler back in 1933 in Munich, we knew what he was up to yet we ignored him and look what happened. It’s no wonder we can’t stop the illegal drug trade when we can’t even stop the legal drug trade at home. Think about this, you can’t turn on the television without watching a commercial about a treatment center. It seems everybody is getting in the act. It’s almost normal to see so many of these commercials that I wonder if anyone is paying attention to the fact that there so many of them. Isn’t anyone asking themselves why? Is this normal? Are we really in that much trouble? The answer to that question is yes, we are in that much troublI’m going to pick on dentists for just a moment. No one thinks of dentists prescribing narcotics, however you couldn’t be more wrong.  

According to Health Day News, a recent study finds that, “More than 100 million Opioid pills prescribed to patients following surgical removal of impacted wisdom teeth are not used, leaving the door open for misuse by patients, or their friends and family.” Remember that your teenagers are going through your medicine cabinet! Over 50 percent of the patients that dentists write narcotics for are aged 14 – 17 followed closely by young adults 18-24. According to a report from Brown University, “Fifty-eight percent of dentists believe they have been victims of prescription fraud and theft.” Yet an NBC report states “Dentists write prescriptions for more pain pills than is necessary to avoid seeing the patient again or writing for refills.” On one hand they claim to be the victim, and on the other hand their supplying the drug. Unbelievable! 

Why can’t dentists prescribe a lesser amount? Are you completely ignorant to the opioid crisis in the U.S or is it your ego that prevents you from doing what is right because you don’t want anyone telling you what to do? I believe you took the same oath as medical doctors in the fact that you will do no harm. You have a responsibility, along with physicians to limit opioid exposure and to explain the risks of opioid misuse to all your patients.
Be the doctor, not the drug dealer (corruption among the best is the worst, Latin term) Drug dealers at least admit who they are…

Nik Ashjian