ROSEVILLE, Calif., July 17, 2018 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- In an effort to stem the tide of opioid misuse and abuse, the California Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons (CALAOMS) is combating the epidemic by educating middle and high school students and first responders throughout the state.
Prescription-drug misuse is one of the fastest growing drug problems in our nation with nearly 5,000 young adults aged 15 to 24 dying from drug-related overdose in 2015 alone – half of which were the result of opioids according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
"Opioids kill more people each year than car crashes. Without greater commitment to finding solutions to the epidemic from industry leaders, medical professionals and legislators, California may continue losing young lives to opioid overdose," stated Pamela Congdon, CAE, IOM, CALAOMS's Executive Director.
The effort, led by Dr. Alan H. Kaye—an oral surgeon in Beverly Hills, Past President of CALAOMS, former President of the California State Dental Board and former Clinical Chief of Oral Surgery/Dentistry at Cedars Sinai Medical Center— is a result of his own familiarity dealing with his patients' inexperience about the dangers of opioid misuse and dependency.
"I want to educate each of my patients and their families, each first responder, and each middle and high school student about the dangers of opioid misuse and dependency," stated Kaye. "As oral surgeons who can prescribe opioids for post-surgical care, we have an obligation to help people understand the potential for misuse and dependency so they are better prepared for pain management after a procedure. They need to be made aware of good alternative pain relief medications."
"Oral surgeons in California, and throughout the country, are diligently working to combat opioid dependence by educating patients and their families about the potential for opioid abuse, and that is why we urge parents to be cognizant of the fact that oral surgeons will recommend non-opioids for most post-operative discomfort, and prescribe opioids only when absolutely necessary," stated Congdon.
Kaye and other oral surgeons are looking forward to traveling the state giving talks to middle and high schools as well as other municipal departments. He hopes his presentation will be shown to every middle and high school student in California.
"I've given this presentation now to three of our four dental school classes at Western University of Health Sciences College of Dental Medicine," said Dr. Jeffrey A. Elo, current CALAOMS President and Professor of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery at both Western University of Health Sciences and Loma Linda University. "We are hoping to expand the reach of our message by inviting CALAOMS members to give this presentation to students at the middle schools and high schools in their cities."
The CALAOMS presentation is on its website (www.calaoms.org) for its members and others to use in their own opioid-education efforts. Through increased education, CALAOMS hopes to curb the opioid epidemic and foster a healthier California.
The California Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons is the only recognized California state component society of the American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons (AAOMS). The non-profit association consists of members throughout the state of California and offers member resources, including: continuing education events, seminars, publications and other valuable programs. In addition to these member resources, CALAOMS also operates a charity organization—California CareForce—which provides free medical, dental and vision care to those in need at three-day, temporary clinics across California. For more information, visit CALAOMS at www.calaoms.org, follow us on Facebook and Twitter, or call (916) 616 – 8970.
SOURCE California Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons