For many teens, the battle with opioid addiction starts with wisdom teeth


When I was discharged from the Navy, my discharge physical stated that I had no wisdom teeth. I developed TMJ a couple of years later and the dentist told me I needed to have four wisdom teeth removed. So much for Naval dentists.
So I went to a dental surgeon, he agreed and I was sitting in the chair waiting for the pentothal shot. My ex-wife was also in the room. And we waited, and waited, and waited. She finally asked what we were waiting for and the doctor pointed to a sign on the wall that said "No anesthesia will be administered with anyone besides dental surgeon and patient in the room."
She was pissed, but she left. I asked why he had that policy and he said that one patient started talking about his girlfriend while his wife was in the room. She divorced the patient and the patient sued the oral surgeon.
I got 12 Darvon, 800 mg and was told to call if I needed another Rx. That was around 50 years ago.

As a young adult I was first diagnosed with migraines. Since then I've been given scripts for narcotic painkillers and muscle relaxers numerous times even when visiting the doctor for ailments other than migraines. If I mention my migraine headaches to the doctor they almost always offer me narcotics.

I've never filled those prescriptions and just relied on bed rest in dark rooms and advil.

Now I wonder how my life could have been different had I accepted the painkillers at the young age of 20. I would have been a repeat customer to that doc for sure. I am just fortunate that though I was far from wise I had learned somewhere that narcotics could lead to addiction and decided to forego the doctor's recommendations.