Dec. 3 (UPI) -- Young people prescribed opioids by dentists or oral surgeons are at a high risk of addiction the following year, a study says.
Researchers at Stanford University, according to a study published Monday in JAMA Internal Medicine, studied more than 15,000 young people and found close to 7 percent who received initial opioid prescriptions from their dentists went back for additional prescriptions between 90 and 365 days later. Almost 5.8 percent received opioid abuse diagnosis during the same year.
"This work raises two really important related but separate questions: Do we need opioids, and do we need the procedure?" said the study's lead author, Alan Schroeder, clinical professor of pediatrics at Stanford and study author, said in a press release.
A research team from Stanford University initially set out to study the risks of wisdom tooth removal but shifted their focus when they noticed how many young people received opioid prescriptions.
The team examined the insurance enrollment nearly 14,888 people between 15 and 24 and found that 13 percent of the group received an opioid prescription. Within that subgroup, it discovered that 30 percent of those people got prescriptions from dentists.
A breakdown of that subgroup found young people ages 16 to 18, were even more likely to use opioid use regularly than people ages 22 to 25. Female patients were the most likely to use opioid persistently subgroup versus patients of Asian descent who have the least prevalence of use.
"Almost 7 percent of these patients had new, persistent use at least three months after the initial prescription and almost 6 percent had an opioid abuse diagnosis," Schroeder said. "That's pretty alarming."
"We need to make sure health care professionals are adequately equipped to discuss the potential benefits and harms of preventive treatment with their patients so that women are well informed before deciding whether or not to take a drug," he said.