On March 26, 2018, the American Dental Association (ADA) announced a new policy on opioids in efforts to address the widespread opioid epidemic in the U.S. The policy focuses on prescription limits and continuing education mandates. According to the ADA’s official press release, the policy specifically expresses support for:
- Mandatory continuing education in prescribing opioids and other controlled substances;
- Statutory limits on opioid dosage and duration of no more than seven days for the treatment of acute pain, consistent with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention evidence-based guidelines; and,
- Dentists registering with and utilizing Prescription Drug Monitoring Programs (PDMPs) to promote the appropriate use of opioids and deter misuse and abuse.
“As president of the ADA, I call upon dentists everywhere to double down on their efforts to prevent opioids from harming our patients and their families,” said ADA President Joseph P. Crowley, D.D.S. “This new policy demonstrates ADA’s firm commitment to help fight the country’s opioid epidemic while continuing to help patients manage dental pain.”
Impact on General Dentistry: The AGD is currently reviewing the ADA’s new policy. In the meantime, the AGD will continue to monitor Congressional efforts to curb opioid abuse as well as seek ways to engage policy makers on policy proposals that discourage misuse, without undermining patient care.