We are writing as a parent and a dentist to spread a message to parents and dental health care providers across Canada: there are alternatives to prescribing opioids after wisdom tooth removal. Removing wisdom teeth is considered by many as a rite of passage for teenagers. It is one of the most common surgical procedures done in young people aged 16 to 24. Amy’s 16-year-old son, Felix recently had his wisdom teeth ...

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The opioid epidemic has swept through communities across the country, and according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse more than 115 people in the U.S. die every day after overdosing on opioids. This crisis is dominating the headlines as physicians, hospitals, community groups, elected officials, businesses and families try to tackle this massive problem. Opioid addiction is a complicated issue, and it will take more than a silver bullet ...

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Many patients who end up in Suboxone treatment have chronic pain. They were originally prescribed other opiates and ended up addicted to them. Skeptics argue that is just substituting one opiate for another. But that isn’t quite accurate. More on that in a bit. In my seven years of prescribing Suboxone for opiate addiction, I have often observed how potent a pain reliever this medication is, even in fairly low doses. More ...

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I doubt there is anyone living in the U.S. who doesn’t realize we have an opioid crisis here. Politicians debate the solutions to abating the high death rate that comes along with it, however, they fail to acknowledge that there are Americans in pain. Yes, we need to be sure opioids are prescribed judiciously. However, we also need to treat patients in pain. As a doctor, it is not always easy ...

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Mary first took oxycodone after a minor surgery and found she liked it. Returning to her surgeon a month later with vague ongoing pain, she received another prescription. Her primary care provider took over from there — until one day that physician checked a urine drug screen and a prescription monitoring program (PMP) report, only to find that she was obtaining various opioids from several providers. The physician cut her ...

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Recently, a generally healthy friend of mine had two small, unrelated surgeries over the course of a few months. For the first, a small operation on his hand, he received a prescription for 30 oxycodone pills. He used one the night after surgery, to make sure pain wouldn’t wake him. Over the next few days he used a few over the counter acetaminophen tablets for his modest discomfort, and then ...

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Who was Ryan Haight? Ryan Haight was an 18-year-old honor student from La Mesa, California who died on February 12, 2001, from an overdose of hydrocodone ordered from an online doctor he never saw — and shipped to his home from a rogue online pharmacy during the beginning of the opioid epidemic. The pharmacist, Clayton Fuchs, filled the online prescription ...

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Imagine yourself as a patient burdened with a chronic disease that necessitated daily medication adherence to function. Now imagine that medication has become so stigmatized by society that you feel judged and ashamed every time that you use it. That’s the world that individuals with opioid use disorder are forced to live in when they’re prescribed methadone or buprenorphine to get through the day. Without these medications,
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A contract is an agreement stipulating the rights and obligations of the signatories. In most cases, a contract is consulted when a dispute arises. When all is proceeding swimmingly, the contract remains dormant in a file drawer or in a digital file. In general, decent people resolve differences in the old-fashioned way utilizing the twin arcane legal techniques of reasonableness and compromise. Remember them? Yes, it is possible to settle ...

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A guest column by the American Society of Anesthesiologists, exclusive to KevinMD.com. Every physician takes the Hippocratic oath and promises to “do no harm.” In the face of the current opioid epidemic, this includes protecting our patients from dependence and addiction, including those who are suffering from debilitating acute and chronic pain. Sometimes this involves ...

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There’s no disputing that the opioid crisis has become a public health emergency in the United States. And not a day goes by when health care providers don’t encounter some aspect of this epidemic. Far too often, the mention of addiction spurns images of homelessness, back-alley deals and crime. While that can certainly be the case, addiction is an “equal-opportunity employer.” Allow me to share two true stories that illustrate ...

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Purdue Pharma recently ran a full-page advertisement in the Wall Street Journal and the Washington Post asserting that the company, which manufactures prescription opioids, wants to limit the use of prescription opioids. While this ad may have left some readers confused, one point rang true: “we believe the country needs a new approach to prescribing opioids.” In its approach to addressing the opioid crisis, Purdue Pharma is encouraging limiting patient access ...

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I am against all forms of bodily pain, both foreign and domestic. I wish the world were pain-free. When I am suffering from even a routine headache, I want immediate relief just like everyone else. The medical approach to pain control has changed dramatically even during my own career. When I started practicing a few decades ago, the strategy was pain reduction. We gave narcotics for very few indications such ...

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A lot has been written about Suboxone, the buprenorphine treatment drug. For many, Suboxone acts as an effective medication to treat opioid addiction. For others, it’s a highly-valued street drug that is commonly diverted and misused. To understand and acknowledge the darker side of Suboxone we have to look back at its history over the past 16 years. History of Suboxone Suboxone was first approved by the FDA in 2002 to treat ...

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A guest column by the American Society of Anesthesiologists, exclusive to KevinMD.com. It's officially that time of year. Summer is in full-swing, and all of America is getting ready to take a much-needed holiday. However, some Americans, particularly those who suffer from chronic pain, often dread getting away. They are afraid their chronic pain might prevent ...

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As a primary care doctor who cares for many patients with opioid-use disorder, I am invested in timely and effective strategies to curb our nation’s opioid epidemic. Because so many instances of opioid addiction and overdoses begin with or involve commonly prescribed opioids, we need multiple strategies that address the significant harms associated with prescription opioids. I am skeptical of one strategy, however: The President’s Commission and the Food and ...

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My second foray into Suboxone treatment has evolved in a way I had not expected, but I think I have stumbled onto something profound. Almost six months into our in-house clinic’s existence, I have found myself prescribing and adjusting treatment for about half of my medication-assisted treatment (MAT) patients for co-occurring anxiety, depression, bipolar disease and ADHD as well as restless leg syndrome, asthma, and various infectious diseases. Years ago, working in ...

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Opioid use has reached epidemic proportions over the past decade, becoming one of America’s highest-priority public health issues. With opioid abuse spiraling out of control, lawmakers, regulators, and health professionals are scrambling to better understand key drivers of this issue and develop an effective action plan. Although the devastating impact of opioids on families and communities is well known, less focus has been given to how it affects the workplace ...

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A guest column by the American Society of Anesthesiologists, exclusive to KevinMD.com. Chronic pain is a silent epidemic Chronic pain is a significant public health burden, but one that is not talked about enough. In 2011, the Institute of Medicine estimated that approximately 100 million Americans suffer from chronic pain. But chronic pain is not just ...

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I have written previously about the raging opioid epidemic in Ohio.  Attacking and reversing this tidal wave will require many weapons, resources and time.  Opioid addiction is a crafty and elusive adversary that will be difficult to vanquish.  Our battle plan will have to be nimble and adjusted over time, much as military leaders must do in actual armed conflict.

Here in Ohio and elsewhere, physicians must abide by new ...

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