Wichita County ranks number 12 for opioid prescriptions, out of the 254 counties in Texas.
Doctor Sandra Vergara runs the Oral Surgery Dental Implant Center and her practice is opiate free.
Doctor Vergara hosted the War Against Opioids event Thursday night, where Dentist Dr. Pedro Franco was a featured speaker.
“Today is actually a celebration of a policy and a community outreach by Dr. Vergara regarding being the leader in town and exposing the practices, that are telling the community that surgery can be done without opioids,” Dr. Pedro Franco said. “So she’s the leader in the community and the most important thing is that shes telling the community that we don’t need to be giving opioids to our children.”
Dr. Franco also explained that for painful surgeries there are other options to control patients’ pain.
“With any surgery, one being wisdom teeth surgery which is one of the most painful surgeries we have. What Dr. Vergara is doing and what we’re doing in Dallas is using a strategy to take care of pain so we use some types of medications before surgery,” Dr. Franco said. “During the surgery we actually use local anesthesia and a prolonged anesthesia that is going to keep the patient in a very comfortable level or even less pain for 3-5 days.”
Doctor Franco says tonight was all about exposing the community to other pain management alternatives.
“The main thing is we have been exposed to opioids for the last 30 years, telling us it is the only pain medication we can use because it’s the only pain medication that works. It’s not just us in the medical, dental, nursing professions, it’s also the community,” Dr. Franco said. “The community comes to you asking for strong pain medications and they think that opioids are the only choice we have, so what we’re trying to do today is to expose it to the community and help them to stop thinking like that, start a new thought process where we don’t expose our children to opioids and yes we can manage pain in different ways.”
America’s fight against narcotic abuse such as pain relievers, heroin, and synthetic opioids is still on the rise.
In October of 2017, the Trump administration declared a health emergency due to the death rate of overdose reaching an all-time high in 2016.