A vicodin representative spoke to us in dental school about how to understand if a patient was abusing pain relievers. That information plus knowing that opioids were for short term use have helped me minimize issues for our patients.

I recently listened to a presentation by Robert Stutman, a retired DEA agent and Judge Jodi Switalski. They discussed the drug epidemic of the 21st century, presenting some interesting facts. Direct drug advertising began in 1993, and the most common addiction is to benzodiazepine (Xanax, Vallium). These addictions are said to be worse than heroine.
There are 3 main predictors of drug abuse:
1. Age of first use is the #1 factor in drug and alcohol abuse.
2. Tobacco use.
3. Low number of dinners with family per week.

No one is immune to this epidemic, we are all in this together. I will continue to do my part in educating myself, my staff, and my patients in the latest research and treatments.