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Blog

Tackling Opioid Abuse in Newburyport and Essex County

Apr 17th, 2019

As dentists, we sometimes have to prescribe pain relief medication after procedures like wisdom tooth extraction or when we do gum grafts for dental implants. As a result we’re acutely aware of the impact that opioid prescriptions are having on our communities. This is especially true in Essex County, Newburyport’s county. In 2017, Essex County was tied for second place in terms of rate of opioid-related deaths and first place among the major counties. While most counties saw a drop in deaths in 2017, Essex county saw a 14% increase.

When faced with numbers such as these we have to ask ourselves what can we, as dentists, dental patients, and members of the Newburyport community do to stop this epidemic. Luckily there are a few steps we can take in order stop it.

Preventing the prescriptions from going out in the fist place is one step that can be taken. Dentists can make sure that opioids are only prescribed as a last resort, at the minimum possible dosage, and for the shortest amount of time possible.

Once a dental patient is prescribed opioids, they can take charge and decide if they they can manage the pain without them and only use them if absolutely necessary. If patients have any medication left over once they feel better, they shouldn’t share them with anyone or flush them down the toilet. April 27th is National Prescription Drug Take Back Day and dental patients around Newburyport can take advantage of that by dropping the drugs off at a designated spot. CVS on Pond Street will have a drop off location as well as the year-round drop off at the Newburyport Police Department. If you live in other town in Essex county you can use this map to find a local drop-off location.

With all of us in Newburyport and other towns in Essex county working together as a community we can take steps in the right direction towards curbing opioid abuse.

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Anyone can train to be a technician, but few have the talent to become an artist. That’s why Dr. Mathew is able to guarantee his cosmetic dentistry work for a full 5 years. If anything goes wrong with the work, Dr. Mathew will fix it free of charge, as long as you continue with your regular 6 month preventative care cleaning and check up for the duration of the warranty.

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Here at Paul Mathew, D.D.S. we work diligently to protect our patients' privacy. Requesting an appointment via our Internet portal is considered part of what the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) has identified as electronically protected healthcare information or ePHI. Unfortunately, despite our best efforts, there are people or entities that may attempt to intercept the data you transmit to us. By checking the "I agree" box, and electronically making an appointment request, you acknowledge that you are making an appointment over the internet and that Paul Mathew, D.D.S. will keep this information confidential but cannot guarantee that others, outside of our practice, may illegally intercept this communication. By accepting these terms and conditions and sending this request via our Internet portal, you accept the inherent risk(s) associated with making this request for an appointment. If you do not accept the terms and conditions, you are always welcome to contact our office via telephone to schedule your appointment.

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Here at Paul Mathew, D.D.S. we work diligently to protect our patients' privacy. Requesting an appointment via our Internet portal is considered part of what the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) has identified as electronically protected healthcare information or ePHI. Unfortunately, despite our best efforts, there are people or entities that may attempt to intercept the data you transmit to us. By checking the "I agree" box, and electronically making an appointment request, you acknowledge that you are making an appointment over the internet and that Paul Mathew, D.D.S. will keep this information confidential but cannot guarantee that others, outside of our practice, may illegally intercept this communication. By accepting these terms and conditions and sending this request via our Internet portal, you accept the inherent risk(s) associated with making this request for an appointment. If you do not accept the terms and conditions, you are always welcome to contact our office via telephone to schedule your appointment.

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The information presented here is not intended or implied to be medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. It should be used for informational purposes only.