Treating Pain Without Opioids

I am pleased to report that Vertex, a Boston-based drug manufacturer, may offer some hope in the fight against the opioid epidemic. The company has advanced a non-addictive painkiller into late-stage trials that, if approved, could be a game-changer in treating pain.

The medicine will block a sodium channel, which signals to the brain if something is wrong. These channels are not near the brain, where addiction can be triggered, making them a compelling substitute for opioids. Vertex plans to seek approval for the treatment of acute pain from injury or surgery, such as wisdom tooth removal.

Partnership for a Drug-Free New Jersey’s 2023 public service campaign is focusing on raising awareness of opioid alternatives to treat pain for wisdom tooth surgery. Dentists prescribe one in ten opioids in the United States and account for the highest percentage of opioid prescriptions to children between 10 to 19 years of age. A study suggests that the use of prescribed opioids before high school graduation is independently associated with a 33 percent increase in the risk of future opioid misuse after high school among patients with little drug experience and who disapprove of illegal drug use.

If your organization would like to utilize this or any other PDFNJ campaign messages that can be customized for your organization’s needs, please visit our Awareness Toolkit, which has all images available in both English and Spanish.

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