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Alabama Dentists Help Fight Prescription Drug Abuse

prescription drug abuse birmingham al

Alabama Dentists Help Fight Prescription Drug Abuse

Next time you go to your dentist in Alabama, don’t be surprised if you get asked a few probing questions about past prescription drug abuse and illicit drug use (or lack thereof). A new study coming out of Addiction shows dentists taking on the responsibility of screening for illicit drug users. Younger female dentists are among the 77% most likely to ask these probing questions about a patient’s prescription drug abuse than their older male counterparts, while 54% feel they need to do so.

But this isn’t merely to see who’s doing drugs. Prescription drug abuse and illicit drug use can cause dental problems including tooth decay, accelerated tooth wear and gum disease. This in turn can cause a rippling effect when it comes to drugs – pain due to dental breakdown can cause the patient to ask dentists for more drugs like OxyContin or Vicodin. It’s a slippery slope to addiction.

You don’t have to go down that slippery slope. It is never too late to start treatment – call Birmingham drug treatment centers  at (205) 319-3099 today.

What is Prescription Drug Abuse?

Prescription drug abuse is the use of these drugs outside of a doctor’s orders, particularly to get a recreational high. Depressant drugs that reduce anxiety and pain are the most commonly abused type, but some prescription stimulant drugs are abused as well.

About six million people will use a prescription drug for a non-medical purpose each month, making it America’s biggest area of drug abuse. The vast majority of these people are either abusing their own prescriptions or obtaining the drugs from a friend or relative.

Signs and Symptoms of Prescription Drug Abuse

Stimulant abuse is usually characterized by periods of intense energy and excessive talkativeness, followed by a “crash” period of extreme lethargy. Depressant abuse will have the opposite effect, making the user excessively fatigued much of the time.

Users who are abusing their own prescriptions may spend an unusual amount of time at doctor’s appointments, often bouncing between many different doctors in an attempt to get multiple prescriptions. A family member or friend may be abusing pills if they go missing from the prescriptions of another member of the household.

Health Risks of Prescription Drug Abuse

The exact health risks of long-term abuse vary greatly with each drug, but a number of them put the user at risk for serious diseases, organ damage or neurological impairment.

A particular problem with opiate pain pill abuse is that it often leads to a heroin habit when the user runs out of their prescription or can’t afford to buy more. Heroin is much less expensive than prescription pills and is widely available on the streets in the United States, and abuse of it opens the user up to a whole new world of potential health problems.

Call Birmingham Alcohol Treatment centers today or visit your local Narcotics Anonymous ( to share your story with others. Start on the road back to recovery.

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