Wisconsin Dental Association

Tongue ‘n’ Cheek... and Teeth, too! ‘Dose of Reality’ campaign launched: In this issue: ‘Dose of Reality’ Safeguarding Rx drugs Dental FAQ - Patient records Acid reflux Anatomy of a tooth Download a free WDA and WIAAP brush and floss chart WDA celebrates 145th anniversary Sign up for FREE, bi-monthly Tongue ‘n’ Cheek…and Teeth, too! patient e-newsletter, so you don’t miss important oral health news and dental tips! Emphasizes dangers of misused Rx drugs More than 70 percent of people who abuse prescription pain medications get them through friends or relatives. In Wisconsin, drug overdose is now the number one cause of accidental death, even more deadly than motor vehicle crashes. Misusing opioid pain medications play a role in more deaths than heroin, cocaine and all other drugs combined. To combat this growing epidemic, the state Department of Justice and Attorney General Brad Schimel launched the “Dose of Reality” prevention campaign in September 2015. “This is a message of hope and prevention. We can win this battle and make our state safer and healthier,” Attorney General Schimel said. The “Dose of Reality” campaign, which includes TV and radio ads, is solely about awareness and prevention of prescription drug abuse. A growing epidemic According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, opioids are medications that relieve pain. They reduce the intensity of pain signals reaching the brain and affect those areas controlling emotion. Physicians and dentists of- ten prescribe them, in pill form, to help patients with severe or chronic pain. Taken as prescribed, opioids can be used to manage pain safely and effectively. However, when abused, even a single large dose can cause serious health problems and potentially lead to death. “Narcotic pain medications are an important tool used to help our patients manage acute pain. Unfortunately, our communities are having significant and ongoing problems with narcotic abuse and overdose. Leftover narcotic pain medications are contributing to this problem. It is important for all health care professionals to help educate the public on the dangers of inappropriate use of narcotic pain medications and the highly addictive nature of these drugs. Through patient and peer education, dentists in Wisconsin can help to stem the tide of narcotic pain medication abuse,” Dr. Joseph Best, an oral and maxillofacial surgeon in Waukesha, said. Opiate abuse is primarily affecting people between the ages of 12 and 25 in Wisconsin with the rate of overdoses increasing by 260 percent. “We’ve seen dramatic increases in overdose deaths in that age range. These are young people with really promising futures,” Dr. Best said. The Wisconsin Dental Association is one of the many health care organizations supporting this campaign. Storing Rx drugs safely Attorney General Schimel said it’s important to store all prescriptions safely and securely. More than 70 percent of people who abuse prescription pain medications get them through friends or relatives. Continued on page 2... FALL/WINTER 2015 1