Opioid pain medication: Why is it a problem?
Did you know that opioid addiction affects millions of Americans and their families? Opioids are narcotic pain relievers that require a prescription from a medical professional. They release the dopamine hormone, which makes your brain believe your pain is reduced, causing you to feel pleasure. Although, opioids are effective in relieving pain, they are extremely dangerous and addictive, which may lead to future opioid abuse if not properly managed.
Dangers of opioid dependence
When used as directed by your doctor in short periods, opioids can help control acute pain, such as the pain you feel after a surgery. If used incorrectly or abused, opioids may lead to:
- Liver Damage
Our dentists take prescription use very seriously and want to better protect our patients and help educate them as well as the public on opioid pain medication and abuse. There are many free resources available to patients to make the best possible choices to stay safe.
What types of opioid pain medication exist?
The State of Wisconsin has increased monitoring and reporting opioid prescriptions to better regulate this ongoing problem of opioid abuse. The most common prescription opioids include:
- Hydrocodone (Vicadin)
- Oxycodone (Oxycotin or Percocet)
If you are prescribed an opioid pain medication, be sure to limit the amount and time you use them. Simply because you receive a prescription for pain medication, does not mean you need to finish the prescription.
How to properly dispose of excess drugs
There are many drug take-back programs in the Oshkosh area. They are a great way to properly dispose of the unwanted or expired drugs. These programs allow us to keep our community safe and prevent opioid abuse.
Winnebago County has four locations that are available to the community 24/7 in order to properly dispose of unwanted or expired medication:
- The City of Oshkosh Public Safety Building
- The City of Neenah Police Department
- The City of Menasha Police Department
- The Village of Fox Crossing Police Department
Pain management: Are there other options?
The good news is, yes, there are options. Research has shown that a combination of Tylenol® and ibuprofen have a tendency to work better as a pain reliever without all the addictive properties. If you are concerned about how to properly manage your prescription use, please talk to your healthcare provider, dentist or pharmacist about proper pain management techniques.
At Govani Dental, we are extremely conservative with pain management. We want to prevent dental emergencies and any pain before they occur. The best way to achieve a healthy and pain-free mouth is through a comprehensive care model.
Tackling opioid abuse in Wisconsin
Wisconsin leaders are working with healthcare providers, law enforcement agencies, and other partners to take action against opioid abuse and addiction. Through these partnerships, Wisconsin is empowering communities to prevent misuse, increase access to quality treatment and recovery services, and reduce harm or death. If you or a loved one is struggling with opioid dependency, please call the Wisconsin Addiction Recovery Helpline at 833-944-4673.
For more information regarding opioid abuse services in Wisconsin, please visit the Wisconsin Department of Health Services.