American Dental Association Continues to Fight Opioid Epidemic
October 26 was National Prescription Drug Take Back Day— a day to not only safely dispose of unused prescription medications, but also to raise year-round awareness and inspire further action on the opioid public health crisis.
CHICAGO — October 26 was National Prescription Drug Take Back Day— a day to not only safely dispose of unused prescription medications, but also to raise year-round awareness and inspire further action on the opioid public health crisis.
For more than a decade, the American Dental Association (ADA) has advocated to keep opioid pain medications from harming dental patients and their families. Dentists have written nearly half a million fewer opioid prescriptions over a 5-year period. In 2018, the ADA was the first — and remains the only — national health professional organization to agree to mandated limits on opioid prescriptions.
The ADA continues to urge its 163,000 dentist members to consider nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs ( NSAIDs) as a first-line therapy for acute pain management. A review of research published in the April 2018 Journal of the American Dental Association indicates the use of NSAIDs, alone or in combination with acetaminophen, is more effective, and has fewer side effects, than opioids for acute pain management.
The ADA continues to focus on solutions to the opioid epidemic by:
- offering free webinars and in-person continuing education sessions for dental professionals
- urging dentists to register with their state prescription drug monitoring programs
- offering patient-friendly resources to inform the public that over-the-counter pain relievers can often effectively relieve short-term dental pain