Opioid Bill Signed into Law

by Billy Tarpley on October 31, 2018

From Mike Graham, ADA Washington Office:

Congratulations!  Thanks to your efforts at the 2018 ADA Dentist and Student Lobby Day, Congress recently passed and the president just signed legislation to help end the nation’s opioid crisis.

Here are some of the ways your advocacy made a positive impact:

  • The bill provides a new round of grants for prescribers to learn about best pain management practices with minimal use of opioids. The content would address optimal use of non-addictive pain medications, identifying risky substance use behaviors, briefly counseling and referring those patients for appropriate treatment, preventing diversion of controlled substances, and more.
  • The bill provides a series of grants and expanded agency authorities to help states improve their prescription drug monitoring programs. The emphasis would be on making those systems more efficient, more reliable and easier to use, and enabling the information to be shared between states.
  • The bill requires the Food and Drug Administration to develop evidence-based opioid analgesic prescribing guidelines for the indication-specific treatment of acute pain where such guidelines do not exist.
  • The bill expands the National Institutes of Health’s authorities to rapidly divert funds for high-impact research in response to public health threats, such as fostering the development of non-narcotic alternatives to opioid pain relievers.

The new law also addresses safe disposal of unused medicine, addiction recovery, and interprofessional collaboration that will only help improve outcomes for patients.  As one of the first major health care organizations in the U.S. to develop a strong policy to address the opioid epidemic, the American Dental Association (ADA) is proud to have members like you engaging Congress, government agencies, and other stakeholders on such a critical issue affecting our families and communities.

With your help, the ADA will continue collaborating with Congress, government agencies, and other stakeholders to help end this tragic and preventable public health crisis. Additional information can be found at ADA.org/opioids

Thank you for all that you do.

Mike Graham
Sr. Vice President,
Government and Public Affairs
American Dental Association


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