Study Shows Dentists Overprescribe Opiates

Dr. Norris Von Curl, II, MD

Dr. Norris Von Curl, II, MD

It is my belief that nobody purposely wants to make their lives any harder on themselves than they have to. If there is a problem with something, then the goal is to look for a solution.”Read the directions, and directly you will be directed in the right direction”, said Lewis Carol. Yes, these words are redundant, but make complete sense if you think about it. Most people have an inner intuition and know the difference between simplicity and difficulty. Most people prefer less effort, and it’s totally understandable. We live in a world where we are in constant pursuit of instant satisfaction. The majority of the population loves convenience, hence the rise of electronics, fast food, and medications- making things easier is an understatement.

Medications play an enormous role in our “making things easier” concept. For thousands of years, the human population got by without the use of pharmaceuticals. Do not get me wrong though, I’m certain there were tons of people that suffered from mental disorders or chronic pain and had to deal with it because diagnosis’ weren’t a thing back then. That was just life. I believe some people require certain medications to get by and function in everyday normal life, and there is not one thing wrong with that. However, I do believe that an unfathomable amount of our human population is wrongly and/or overly prescribed unnecessary medications. A vast mainstream of the people I’m talking about are handed bottle after bottle of painkillers and opiates. Often times, all kinds of doctors and dentists overprescribe opiates to patients as a “cure all”. The reality of the matter is that it just masks the pain and doesn’t end up alleviating any of the symptoms causing such discomfort.

If your tooth hurts, it might be an extremely vigorous pain that turns your whole world upside down. I’ve had my fair share of cavity fillings, root canals, and tooth extractions throughout the years and I wouldn’t recommend it. On the other hand, sugar and I are best friends even though it decides to rot my food chompers out of my skull. It’s a constant battle that never ends- but I digress. My point to this story was to position that I have been to the dentist many times in the lifespan of my sobriety. Throughout the course of this timeline, opiates have been pushed my way a countless number of times. I could’ve easily accepted the prescription, I mean, that’s how it starts though isn’t it? I take a few of those for this unbearable tooth pain and poof- no more problems. Life is all holly jolly and dandy. Wrong. I finish the script and continue on my path of enlightenment and recovery, right? Wrong. I’ll awaken my addiction with said pills and step back into the realms of misery? Ding ding ding- we have a winner. Even a prescription to the little seemingly harmless narcotics is enough to throw somebody over the edge. Our sleeping addiction and alcoholism will wake up just from the little taste of chemicals.

woman suffering from a toothache

Awakening the Demons

Opiates are derived from the poppy seed- as I’m sure most who are reading this are already aware of. Opium and heroin are two common street drugs that are birth products of this manufacturing of poppy seeds into opiates. These are illegal narcotics in most regions. Then you have the legal versions, the little blood sucking pharmaceuticals most commonly known as painkillers.  Painkillers are a legal way for people to take mind numbing drugs without repercussions, but this gets heavily abused time and time again. Knowing these legalities, people exaggerate their tender aches and obtain these little pills that seem to make life easier. “Seem to” being the key part to that last situation. As mentioned before, when dentists prescribe opiates, it is to help rid but not cure whatever be the mentioned problem. 

Dentists overprescribe opiates more commonly than other doctors because of how sensitive tooth pain can be. Our pearly whites are all bones connected to nerves that are like a string of Christmas lights to our brains senses. If you pull the right strings up there, I might dance like a puppet for you. It’s never pleasant. Dealing with tooth pain is easier said than done, but can be done without opiate painkillers. Requiring yourself to use said scripts is all mental. It’s the disease of addiction speaking to you with the “what if’s”. Even if you’re not in recovery, it is still recommended to not even test the waters with opiates. There are other alternatives if you ask your doctor. There are also many natural remedies to ease the aches. Some dentists are more prone to prescribing non-narcotic pain killers, but this must be requested usually.

Most would be unpleasantly surprised as to how quick the mind and body decide they enjoy the feeling of opiates. It’s always just a matter of time before we awaken the demons of our addictions and the decision that the one script wasn’t enough. Even if opiates were never a problem of yours, beware the idea of cross addiction. Not only do most of us prefer the easier path, but most people generally like to feel good. Everybody wants to laugh and enjoy their little slice of heaven. In a matter of no time at all we can convince ourselves to become accustomed to that state of “feeling better than normal”, but rest assured it is a slippery slope if one is not prepared for the fall.

Pain is Real in All Forms

It doesn’t matter the form, discomfort is discomfort. Whether you suffer from physical or mental pain, at the end of the day- it’s still taking a toll. If you or a loved one is addicted to opiates and want help to deal with your pains in a healthy manner, please call 844-489-0836 or visit Our team of specialists will be standing by to help you on a path to happiness and independence from opiates and other narcotics.

Meet Our Team
Meet Our Team

From our certified therapists and nurses to our emotional support animal "Cooper", our entire team is dedicated to the health and success of our clients throughout our program and beyond.

Help Is Available. Speak With Someone Today.

Our admission team is available to help 24/7.
Skip to content