Dentists to Prescribe OTC Analgesics, Not Opioids

While the United States continues to reel under the epidemic of addiction to prescription pain relievers, fingers are also being raised at the dentists who are turning a blind eye to the issue. Although the prevailing laws don’t oversee how dentists manage pain for their patients, it is time for them to change their age-old prescribing strategies.

More and more young Americans are finding themselves addicted to opioids after getting their wisdom teeth extracted, revealed a new study by the Journal of the American Dental Association (JADA). They are generally ill-informed about the side effects of the medications and dangers of exceeding the prescribed doses. It has been found that dentists usually do not educate patients about proper disposal methods of prescription drugs and possibilities of slipping into their prolonged use.

Recently, about 60 percent of the opioid patients admitted to a treatment center said that they were given their first opioid pain reliever either by a dentist or a general physician, or they managed to get it from the medicine cabinet at home. Most people confessed that they never knew they could say “no” to a prescription or request something non-addictive.

Current prescribing strategies and the way forward

Dentists in America have a tendency to prescribe medications considering a “worst case scenario” pain in their patients. Their inability to anticipate the severity of pain in their patients leads to unnecessary prescriptions for patients who might not experience pain even after a medical procedure. As a result, only 20 percent of patients who will most likely experience severe pain, may experience benefits. Whereas, 80 percent of them may end up with medicines which they might not need.

Today, in the middle of the ongoing opioid epidemic, dentists and general practitioners are grappling with the challenge of accurately predicting which of their patients will experience severe pain. Therefore, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), such as ibuprofen (Advil) or naproxen sodium (Aleve), should always be the first line of treatment for dental pain management. Apart from being non-addictive, they also work effectively in most of the cases.

Opioid pain medications, like Vicodin and Percocet, should only be used when NSAIDs fail to deliver the desired results. For patients with chronic dental post-surgical pain, another option to lower 100 percent dependence on opioid painkillers would be a combination of ibuprofen or naproxen with 500 mg of acetaminophen alone, which is fundamentally one Extra Strength Tylenol.

It is important to understand the gravity of the situation and ask physicians to prescribe non-narcotic drugs instead of habit-forming medications. It is the joint responsibility of both the patient and the medical practitioner to ensure that addiction-causing medicines are not prescribed unless there is a dire need.

Help is just a call away

Some of the ways to stay away from the dangers of prescription drugs are to use medications only as per the direction of medical practitioners and for a limited period of time, to store medications at a safe place, and to keep the prescriptions only to oneself. Various law enforcement agencies have introduced necessary guidelines to curb over prescription of opioids by doctors, including the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), to check opioid over prescription. As per the new CDC guidelines, medical practitioners must prescribe opioids only when alternative medications or behavioral therapies have failed to impart the necessary impact.

Prescription drug abuse is dangerous and its overdose can be fatal. Hence, treatment at the earliest is the only solution. If a loved one is grappling with prescription drug abuse and you are clueless about how to handle it, contact the Prescription Drug Addiction Helpline at866-623-3847 to connect to one of the best prescription drug abuse treatment centers. A call to our 24/7 prescription drug abuse helpline can pave the way for your loved one’s recovery with the help of the most reputed prescription drug abuse treatment clinic.

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Aftercare Post Removal of a Wisdom Tooth

When your third molars begin to affect your oral health, the smartest thing to do is to get them removed. However, removal of an impacted wisdom tooth involves a surgical procedure. Therefore, post-surgery care is extremely important. In order to avoid unnecessary pain, infection or swelling, you need to follow the aftercare instructions given by your dentist.

Importance of Aftercare

Majority of the people with impacted teeth prefer removing them. Besides temporary bleeding, discomfort, swelling and bruising after surgery, majority of the patients recover swiftly. However, a common preventable surgical complication is a dry socket.

A dry socket occurs when newly clotted blood within the socket is removed or dissolved, exposing bone and nerve endings. A dry socket can cause severe pain, bad breathe, an unpleasant taste in the mouth, swollen lymph nodes in the neck area. You might also experience a mild fever.

Here are some post-extraction healing instructions that you can follow to prevent potential complications.

Swelling

For at least two days after the surgery, apply ice packs to your cheek after every 20 minute interval. This will help minimize bruising, swelling, or any discomfort. If your wisdom tooth was infected before the surgery, your dentist may suggest using warm and moist compresses rather than ice.

Bleeding

You might encounter some bleeding and it’s normal. Place a gauze pad over the extraction site for half an hour after the extraction. In case of heavy bleeding, biting down on the gauze pad or placing your fingers over the pad continuously for 30 minutes to stop the bleeding. You can also use moistened tea bag instead of the gauze pad. Tea contains tannic acid which contracts the bleeding vessels and helps the blood clot to set.

Mouth Care

Do not eat, drink or speak for the first few hours after the surgery and plan to rest for the remainder of the day. In order to prevent dislodging the blood clot, avoid rinsing vigorously or using a straw while drinking. Also, avoid heavy exercises for a few days. Avoid smoking and spitting excessively on the day of the surgery, or as long as the bleeding continues. After 12 hours, you are allowed to gently rinse with a mild mouthwash or salt water. You can brush your teeth the night of the surgery, however, avoid touching the surgical area.

Diet

Once the bleeding stops, keep yourself hydrated by drinking lots of lukewarm or cold fluids. You can resume having your regular meals. However, it is best for you to stick to clear liquids and soft foods such as puddings, eggs, and mashed potatoes. Liquified vegetables, meats and fruits are also good for you. Avoid drinking soft drinks or foods like popcorn, peanuts, and pasta at any cost, as they can dislodge the blood clot.

Medications

Take the prescribed pain medications and antibiotics as directed by your dentist. If you are on strong narcotic pain medication, you should avoid driving, operating machinery or having avoid alcoholic drinks.

When to Call Your Dentist

The pain and swelling should disappear gradually. However, speak to your dentist if you experience any of the following:

  • Swelling that gets worse instead of better.
  • Excessive bleeding that won’t subside with pressure.
  • Severe, throbbing pain three to four days following surgery.
  • An elevated fever that persists.

Drug Use in College Can Destroy Career Aspirations

I was recently told a story about an employer participating in a recruiting day at a local university. The recruiter was representing a Federal law enforcement agency. Amazingly, some students seeking information about Federal employment approached the recruiter’s booth reeking of marijuana. The college students appeared dumbfounded when the recruiter advised that applicants for this particular agency must be drug-free for five years prior to being eligible for employment, or longer if other drugs are used. As young people pursue higher education and the experiences college offers, keeping an eye on the future is always advised. Experimental drug use can disqualify a 4.0 GPA college graduate from incredible employment opportunities after graduation and put them years behind the careers of their drug-free counterparts.

When a person thinks about the drugs young adults are exposed to in college, one of the first to come to mind is usually marijuana. However, it has been established that drug use has expanded into the area of prescription drugs as well. One prescription drug in particular that is highly abused on college campuses is Adderall, a central nervous system stimulant used to treat ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder). Most of the Adderall abused on campus is obtained from students who may legitimately have ADHD. These students have legitimate prescriptions for Adderall, but have decided to illegally divert the medication to other students. Students typically take Adderall to stay awake preparing for classes and exams or to attend an all-night party. Although it may be perceived as a harmless act at the time, students who obtain drugs illegally during college may be disqualified from obtaining lucrative employment for years after graduation, or banned completely from some opportunities entirely.

College graduates can develop drug addictions and continue to misuse prescription or other illegal drugs after graduation. For these young adults, employment will be increasing difficult to attain because most employers drug test applicants as well as conduct random drug testing during employment. Over 80% of Fortune 500 companies perform drug and alcohol testing of their employees. (1) The largest employer in our country, the U.S. Government, typically requires abstinence from illegal drug use for several years before they will consider an applicant eligible for employment. Depending on the drug abused and length of the abuse, a potential candidate for Federal employment may never be considered eligible. When applying to a Federal job, applicants are required to complete a drug-use questionnaire. This is typically followed by a polygraph examination to detect deception. Additionally, it is critical for applicants to be honest in their responses when applying for any job because if it is discovered they are misrepresenting the facts, they may be immediately disqualified or terminated and may even face criminal charges.

The temptation to use prescription stimulants in college is strong for many students because the drugs provide increased wakefulness and energy. The stimulants can seemingly assist busy students by providing more time to address school work and removing the feeling of tiredness and need to sleep. However, studies have found that the stimulants do not enhance learning or thinking ability when taken by people who do not actually have ADHD. Additionally, research has shown that students who abuse prescription stimulants like Adderall who are not diagnosed with an attention deficit actually have lower GPAs in college than those who do not. (2)

There are other considerations against abusing stimulants like Adderall aside from the potential career derailment. Taking Adderall without being prescribed and medically supervised by a physician can also be physically harmful and may lead to long-term addiction. Stimulants like Adderall can increase blood pressure, heart rate, and body temperature, as well as decrease sleep and appetite. Lack of sleep and malnutrition not only impair judgment and cognitive abilities, but can have long-term negative effects on the body, especially if there are any pre-existing medical conditions. Repeated abuse of stimulants can lead to feelings of hostility and paranoia and at high doses, they can lead to serious cardiovascular complications, including stroke. (3)

Adderall is a particularly dangerous drug for college students to abuse because of its highly addictive qualities. As a result, Adderall has been placed in the highest possible schedule for approved prescriptions under the federal list of controlled substances (Schedule II), similar to Hydrocodone and Oxycontin. Similar to the dangers of other Schedule II narcotics, mixing Adderall with alcohol is very dangerous because it increases the risk of alcohol poisoning. This is because the alertness Adderall produces can mask the effects of severe alcohol intoxication. Someone taking Adderall might not realize how intoxicated they are, as it may prevent them from getting tired, falling asleep, and ultimately ending their party for the evening. As a result, they do not stop drinking and eventually end up with alcohol poisoning. (4)

College students are advised to abstain from the temptations of illegal drug use and recreational prescription drug use in order to secure their future. While it may seem harmless or even necessary at the time, taking marijuana, Adderall, and other drugs can have a devastating result. Additionally, individuals who share or sell any legitimate prescription drugs, including Adderall, are committing a felony and could be prosecuted for drug trafficking and other federal offenses. Most importantly, students should maintain a healthy drug free lifestyle throughout college in order to be fully functioning during classes as well as prepared and eligible to enter the job market after graduation. Otherwise, instead of pursuing desired career aspirations, young people may be pursuing addiction intervention.

Can Depression Be Helpful

Depression has achieved social negligence, viewed as a hazard for the society by the physiologists. The common belief goes that when a man gets depressed from the things around him and thinks himself to be the cause of his failures; then he should look around for a change, discontinuing his work for a while and channelising his energy towards spiritual guidance to achieve the peace of mind.

But can it be true that instead of viewing depression as a misfortune happened to our life, it can prove out to be beneficial to us? Can depression help in enhancing our capabilities of doing work?

We all must have heard the phrase “happy- go-lucky” often employed to the people who are careless and live their life under ignorance, but what about a depressed person. Clearly, there are no such statements. The biggest negative impact of depression is the declining health status, but it does have a few merits too. Studies have found out that people under depression can go on working for longer hours without feeling boredom, they are more focused and show a greater dedication and sincerity towards their work.

Depression is like a slow smouldering of the human heart on the inside and while imbibed it intoxicates working much like narcotics while carrying within itself the future possibilities of ill-health.

According to two researchers, Paul Andrews, a clinical psychologist, and Anderson Thomson, a psychiatrist depression can increase our analytical thinking and help us stay focused. A common belief is that they are well practised at reflection and self-analysis, making them be deep thinkers pondering about life from a closer perspective than the happy ones and would be smarter than many people.

Depression helps us to appreciate things so much more; even small acts of kindness from other people make us feel pleased. According to Dr Paul Keedwell, an expert on mood disorders at the Institute of Psychiatry, King’s College London, seems to have a firm belief in the idea of impacts of depression on everyday life. He says after going through the phase of depression, many have claimed to have developed a respectful opinion and care knowing the importance of life.

There are millions of people who enter the similar phase of depression. And nearly all of them have seen it as a positive aspect of life.However, we must see this as a natural phenomenon of life and instead of being disheartened live it taking it as the other part of life.

Strategy to Put Brakes on Driving Under Alcohol Influence

Some of the common statements from a person who is under the influence of alcohol and believes that he can perfectly drive a car are – “No, I am absolutely fine, just give me the keys; it’s not possible that I can’t drive when drunk; I drive better when I am drunk.” The irony is that it is his impaired senses that makes him come up with such statements.

According to the U.S. Department of Transportation, 28 people die every day in the United States in motor vehicle crashes involving drunk driving, which also causes one death every 53 minutes. Moreover, 9,967 people were killed in drunk driving crashes in 2014 which were nearly one-third (31 percent) of all traffic-related deaths in the U.S.

In the U.S., drivers are considered to be alcohol-impaired when their blood alcohol concentration (BAC) is .08 grams per deciliter (g/dL) or higher. With the increasing incidence of alcohol-induced crashes, some strategy needs to be worked on to overcome the problem.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) lists certain measures that have been recommended by the Guide to Community Preventive Services, and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration finds them to be effective. Some of the strategies outlined by the CDC are:

    • Laws for curbing drunk driving: As per the U.S. laws, a person with a BAC equal to or above 0.08 percent is not allowed to drive. A person below the age of 21 with any measurable amount of alcohol is also not allowed to drive. These norms are to be followed in all the 50 states and the District of Columbia. The laws have proved to be effective in checking crashes related to alcohol-impaired driving. With stricter adherence, the number of such crashes can be further brought down.
    • Ignition interlocks: Ignition interlocks are installed in cars to measure a driver’s BAC. A car would not start unless the driver blows into the interlock that is connected to the vehicle’s ignition. Usually, the BAC is set at the minimum of 0.02 percent. Such ignition locks are helpful for repeat offenders and also for people charged with driving under the influence (DUI). Though all states have implemented the ignition interlock program, only one-fifth of those arrested under driving while intoxicated (DWI) have used these locks.
    • Sobriety checkpoints: Sobriety checkpoints are essential for reducing driving-related crashes. Security checkpoints in several areas, especially before accident-prone areas, can help a police officer stop a car and monitor the driver’s alcohol impairment. The CDC said that such sobriety checkpoints reduce drunk driving accidents by 9 percent.
    • License revocation or suspension laws: The state administration should use license revocation and suspension laws for anyone who is found driving in an impaired condition or who refuses to undergo alcohol testing. The police should be allowed to impound the licenses of those who flout the BAC norms. The states can further decide the timeline for suspending the license.
    • School-based instructional programs: With a rise in teenage alcoholism in the U.S., incidents of drunk driving are also growing. School-based instructional programs about the effects of drunk driving can help students learn the intricacies of drinking alcohol, driving drunk or riding with a drunk driver.
  • Mass media campaigns: Mass media campaigns have always played an important role in generating awareness about a particular issue. Drunk driving is an issue that needs immediate attention as many lives are lost in drunk driving crashes. Campaigns and strategies to prevent impaired driving are the most effective methods to dissuade people from driving when drunk.

Avoiding drunk driving can save innocent lives

In 2014, over 1.1 million drivers were arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol or narcotics. Unfortunately, that is nearly 1 percent of the 121 million self-reported episodes of drunk driving among U.S. adults each year, according to the CDC.

Alcohol rehab centers provide customized treatments for alcohol addiction. If you or your loved one is addicted to alcohol and you are looking for alcohol treatment centers, the Florida Alcohol Addiction Helpline can connect you to one of the best alcohol rehabs center. You may call at 24/7 helpline number 866-220-5381 to know more about alcohol rehabilitation center.

Substance Abuse and Premature Ejaculation

PREMATURE EJACULATION AND SUBSTANCE ABUSE

While much has been written about how to treat premature ejaculation, very little attention has been given to the unintended consequences of treating premature ejaculation with alcohol and illegal drugs.

Premature ejaculation is when a man ejaculates after minimal or no stimulation and before or shortly after penetration. The worldwide average for men is that they ejaculate after about 3-7 minutes of vaginal penetration. Most men with premature ejaculation complain that they ejaculate in the first 1-2 minutes after penetration.

Men love to ejaculate but they don’t want to do it quickly. Men want to have a more prolonged period of sexual intercourse, for both their own and their partner’s satisfaction. Just about all men will lose their erection after they ejaculate and that also ends both their and their partner’s pleasure.

Teenage and young adult men usually do not have very good control over when they ejaculate. It doesn’t take long for young men to discover that they last a lot longer after 2 or 3 drinks. On the surface this sounds like a win win situation; catch a buzz and last longer. Not so fast. There are numerous problems with using alcohol to control ejaculation. While the young men usually still get a good erection after a few drinks, this is not always the case with men in their forties and fifties. Older men often have weaker erections after a few drinks. And older men who have a chronic alcohol problem almost always have erection problems. After many years of using alcohol to control ejaculation, most men find that it takes more and more alcohol to be only partially effective. And this is the biggest problem. I have treated hundreds of men who have an alcohol problem. And while there are many paths to becoming an alcoholic, I have seen more and more men who have told me that they started to drink to control their ejaculation and it just got out of control. Alcoholics have countless medical problems, trouble keeping a job and earning a living, are often abusive to their families and are generally unhappy with their lives. Good sex is important, but the price of alcoholism is too great.

Men don’t start out using narcotics to control ejaculation. But those men who are already improperly using any one of a number of narcotics (codeine, Percocet, heroin, morphine, methadone, cocaine, cannabis, oxycodone, fentanyl, etc) quickly discover that they have better ejaculatory control while under the influence of these drugs. It is my fear that countless men who would have otherwise stopped using narcotics are not able to free themselves of this always destructive habit because of their desire and need to have better ejaculatory control. It is particularly difficult to stop the use of narcotics because men who stop using them often find their ejaculatory control is even worse than before they started using the drugs. Narcotics create a dependency in the traditional way in that they are addictive, but also in the sense that men become accustomed to the improved ejaculatory control. Eventually narcotics, if they haven’t already killed the man, will not only cause erectile dysfunction but will stop controlling ejaculation. A horrible lose lose situation.

Men who regularly use narcotics, including cannabis are rarely productive members of society. They either don’t work or can’t keep a job, are poorly motivated and have a much higher incidence of criminal activity and medical problems. They are often dependent on others or society to care for them. A horrible situation. While it can be debated exactly what role premature ejaculation plays in narcotic use, any role is unacceptable.

It is not easy to treat premature ejaculation. Many doctors disagree on how to treat premature ejaculation or even on whether to treat it at all. Some medically supervised methods are more effective than others and some of these treatments have unintended side effects. But everyone agrees that the use of alcohol or narcotics to treat premature ejaculation is a disaster.