The American Dental Association reveals policy changes to wage war on opioid epidemic

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The American Dental Association has joined the war against opioid addiction. The body, which represents dental professionals, has revealed a series of new policies, which will be introduced to try and prevent opioid addiction.

In a move to try and prevent patients from abusing drugs used to treat dental issues, the ADA has launched stringent measures, which restrict the use and availability of opioids. The ADA will now require dentists to undertake continued training and professional development related to prescribing opioids and other prescription medications and there will also be a limit of 7 days’ worth of tablets per patient in cases of acute pain. All dentists will also be actively encouraged to adopt their state’s drug monitoring programme.

The recommendations have been welcomed by dentists, but some feel that more needs to be done. Dr Craig Janssen, from Janssen Dental Clinic, said that his team already consults the state monitoring programme for each patient and continued education is recommended. Dr Janssen feels that the measures will have a positive impact, but said that the scale of the problem is so vast, that these steps won’t be sufficient to tackle the issue.

Opioid addiction is one of the most pressing health concerns in the USA. Research suggests that approximately 2 million adults in the US have an addiction to prescription drugs for pain relief.

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