The Herioin Epidemic, Prescription Drug Abuse and Your Practice Deepak Krishnan, DDS, FACS
The nation is under the grip of an epidemic of abuse of and addiction to opioids such as heroin, morphine, and prescription pain relievers. An estimated 26.4 million to 36 million people abuse opioids worldwide, with 2.1 million people in the United States suffering from substance use disorders related to prescription opioid pain relievers in 2012 and an estimated 467,000 addicted to heroin. The problem is closer to home that we assume. Oral and Maxillofacial surgery practices throughout the country are seeing an increased presence of abuse and addiction related to our patient care. We must take a closer look at the gravity of this problem and how we can partner in fighting the epidemic.
Upon completion of this presentation, participants should be able to: 1) describe the depth of the problem of heroin and prescription drug abuse in our society; 2) recognize signs of addiction in patients, co-workers and family and explain the challenges in providing care to patients who are addicts or former addicts; 3) tailor our anesthetic plan in these patients; and 4) strategize post-operative pain control and avoid being a pill-mill.