ADA’s Policy To Combat Opioid Epidemic Highlighted

by Billy Tarpley on December 21, 2018

From ADA Morning Huddle, 12/21/18 edition:

In an article in Philly (PA) (12/19), Rima Himelstein, MD, a Crozer-Keystone Health System pediatrician and adolescent medicine specialist, discusses the recent study in JAMA Internal Medicine that found an association between opioids for dental pain and subsequent opioid abuse. The researchers found that “among nearly 15,000 teenagers and young adults who received initial opioid prescriptions from their dentists in 2015, almost 7 percent had additional opioids prescribed within a year, and almost 6 percent were diagnosed with opioid abuse within that time.” In comparison, “only a fraction of those who did not receive an opioid prescription from their dentists got another opioid prescription (0.1 percent) or were diagnosed with opioid abuse (0.4 percent) over the same period.” Dr. Himelstein states that “dentists and oral surgeons should limit opioid dosage and duration for acute pain to no more than seven days, according to new recommendations from the ADA,” and “instead, they should first consider prescribing non-opioid painkillers like ibuprofen or acetaminophen.”

Follow all of the ADA’s advocacy efforts on opioids at

        As a public service, the ADA Center for Professional Success website is now offering free access to information on safe prescribing, online continuing education, and other tools for managing dental pain, especially for patients who are at risk for drug overdose or addiction. For more information, visit Success.

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