In 2017, opioids (including prescription opioids, heroin and fentanyl) killed more than 47,600 people in the U.S., and more than 35% of those deaths involved a prescription pain reliever, according to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC).
As future dentists, dental students need to be prepared to prescribe opioids responsibly, which includes communicating risks and being aware of signs of misuse.
ASDA wants to ensure students are able to effectively discuss opioids with their patients. ASDA’s B-13 policy states:
The American Student Dental Association encourages all dental schools to provide education on evidence-based prescribing as outlined in the CODA-accreditation Standards.
ASDA urges dental schools to provide resources for dental students to appropriately address opioids with their patients.
ASDA encourages the American Dental Education Association to create resources that establish evidence-based prescribing practices for dental school clinics.
What has ASDA done?
- On April 10, 2018, more than 500 ASDA members lobbied Congress to create legislation that would:
- Require continuing education for opioid prescribers.
- Impose prescribing limits of no more than seven days for the initial treatment of acute pain.
- Support the use of prescription drug monitoring programs.
- Improve the quality and integrity and interoperability of state prescription drug monitoring programs.
- In November 2018, ASDA’s Council on Advocacy hosted the Combatting the Opioid Epidemic webinar to help students effectively discuss the crisis. The webinar provided up-to-date opioid information and examined how experts from different fields are working together against opioids.
Read what ASDA members are writing about opioids: