DEAR ALI: My son is getting his wisdom teeth out. How can I ensure he won’t become addicted to meds?

Updated: Nov 10, 2020

DEAR ALI: My son is getting his wisdom teeth out. How can I ensure he won't become addicted to meds?
ASK ALI - pain medication, wisdom teeth, and addiction?

This is a legitimate concern because many oral surgeons will offer or prescribe opioid medications for pain after surgery. There are a couple of things you can do to keep your son or daughter safe even if you decide these medications are necessary.


First of all, talk to his/her doctor about the procedure and necessity of this serious prescription. Many doctors suggest that a combination of ibuprofen and acetaminophen is adequate. You do not have to accept or fill a prescription. You can create a plan to obtain a prescription only if absolutely necessary. You can also request that the prescription only be for 2-3 days worth rather than 30 full days. If your son or daughter tries to suggest it will be necessary to take a month’s supply due to the pain, there is a serious problem and you should bring them to their surgeon immediately for further evaluation. If a prescription is filled, make sure that you always manage the medication storage and administration. Children or teens should never have control of prescription opioids. They are too dangerous and addictive to be managed by anyone other than adults.


Lastly, proper disposal of unused and unwanted medications is absolutely necessary. Unwanted medications left unused are only a risk to be abused. Find a local drop box (click here) OR contact us for a Deterra bag (click here).