Overuse of prescription pain medications, otherwise known as opioids, has reached epidemic levels in the United States. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, as many as one in four patients receiving long-term opioid therapy struggles with opioid misuse or addiction.
Premera recognizes that the opioid crisis is a complex social health issue. In 2018, we made edits to our opioid policies to help prevent addiction and align with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). We would like to share information with dental providers on practice variation in opioid prescribing when it’s in excess of current clinical guidelines.
If you’re a dentist, or work for one, and would like to see if there’s something you can do to help tackle the opioid crisis, see the Dr. Robert Bree Collaborative and Washington State Agency Medical Directors’ Group Dental Guidelines on Prescribing Opioids for Acute Pain Management. These guidelines were developed with input from Washington State DDS and DMD peers. The American Dental Association (ADA) also has a policy to combat the opioid epidemic, including supporting mandatory continuing education in prescribing opioids and other controlled substances. Learn more about the ADA’s recommendations.
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