Opioid Abuse: How We Can Help

Opioid Abuse: How We Can Help

The ADA commits to multi-disciplinary efforts toward ending opioid abuse, as do loving, caring dental businesses like Oasis Dental.

Did you know that prescription opioids, heroin and fentanyl took more than 42,000 lives back in 2016 — more than in other years past? 40% of those deaths involved prescription pain relievers, according to the CDC, but this doesn’t quite account for the nearly two million Americans reported as having abused these products.

The ADA has recently begun to include advanced education and training for dentists so that we can assist in fighting the opioid crisis while still maintaining our obligation to managing dental pain. There are numerous complexities surrounding modern pain management within dentistry, even including the very nature of drug addiction, methods for screening patients to glimpse possible substance use disorders, and proven techniques to motivate those at risk who desire the right treatment.

In 2016, the ADA last updated its previous statement on opioids use in treating dental pain. For one thing, the statement urged dental professionals to more closely follow the CDC’s “opioid-prescribing guidelines for chronic pain” while using their own state’s prescription-drug monitoring programs, completing continuing education, and using non-narcotics as the primary therapy for this acute dental pain.

The ADA also raised greater awareness regarding opioid analgesic abuse through partnering with several outside organizations like the Partnership for Drug-Free Kids, the DEA, the Substance Abuse & Mental Health Services Administration, and the U.S. Surgeon General as well. And many now pressure Congress to enact funding for a 2016 legislation to authorize multiple activities preventing opioid misuse. Whether you live in beautiful Bala Cynwyd, PA or elsewhere, the need remains for caring dentists present at every step. We hope to provide that care for all patients in need so that they can get the help they need, and soon.

Final Thoughts

The ADA raises important questions about whether the CDC’s “opioid-prescribing chronic pain guidelines” are truly sufficient, even for a profession most often dealing with acute pains. Many of us dentists take our commitments to our patients very, very seriously, and are now investing research into how non-narcotics may better manage dental pain.

We could all do more to stop opioids from continuing to harm our loved ones and communities, and Oasis Dental is committed to this fight, alongside the ADA. With the collaboration of pharmacists, physicians, policy makers and even the public, we can end opioid abuse and bring life, health and growth to our family and community.

Remember: Dr. Spieler and the entire Oasis Dental team are here for you, and prepared to answer your questions and support your health for the long term. Give us a call if you’d like to discuss pain management options, or any other health concerns that we may be able to help with.

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