Californian researchers have recently explored the possibility that opioid prescriptions from dental clinicians provided for pain management after third molar extractions from adolescents and young adults might associated with subsequent opioid use and abuse. They compared an opioid-exposed cohort of 14 888 participants (mean age, 21.8 [2.4] years), and a randomly selected opioid-non-exposed cohort included of similar age and gender distribution. In the index dental opioid cohort, 1021 (6.9%) received another opioid prescription in the 90 – 365 days that followed, compared with 30 of 29 776 (0.1%) opioid-non-exposed controls (adjusted absolute risk difference, 6.8%; 95% CI, 6.3%-7.2%). Moreover, 866 opioid-exposed people (5.8%) experienced one or more subsequent health care encounters with an opioid abuse–related diagnosis compared with 115 opioid-non-exposed controls (0.4%) (adjusted absolute risk difference, 5.3%; 95% CI, 5.0%-5.7%). The findings, reported here in the JAMA comfirm that many adolescents and young adults are exposed to opioids after prescribing by dentists, and that these prescriptions may be associated with an increased risk of subsequent opioid use and abuse.
Opioids prescribed for dental purposes for young adults are associated with a high rate of later substance use disorders
Dec 5, 2018