Dental Education on the Opioid Epidemic

Opioid abuse is a serious public health issue in the United States. Results from the 2016 National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH) indicate that 3.3 million people over age 12, and an estimated 239,000 adolescents aged 12 to 17, abused prescription pain relievers in 2016. Common prescribers of opioids—internal medicine physicians, primary care physicians and dentists—must have ready access to the tools and resources required to identify and address addiction problems with their patients.

Recent News

On a Mission: The tragic loss of a son to opioids has a VCU oral surgeon advocating for change in how doctors administer painkillers

In his research, Dr. Omar Abubaker realized that there’s no one reason behind the epidemic, and there’s no magic bullet to stem the tide. It’s a coalescing of numerous factors, as detailed in the White House Commission on Opioids report, which “put it together for me,” he says. VCU has changed curriculum in response to the crisis.

December 7, 2017 | Richmond Magazine

Confronting the Opioid Epidemic: How Dental Schools Can Lead

The opioid crisis is not one epidemic; it is several intertwined epidemics, or a syndemic . The crisis knows no race or class. If you are not personally touched by addiction, it’s likely that you know someone who has been affected. More individuals die from opioid overdoses than car accidents. It took more than a decade to reach this crisis point, and it will take as long or longer to get out of it. We are bearing witness each day, but we also need to take action. Dental schools have a critical role in that work.

December 1, 2017 | Journal of Dental Education

Massachusetts Dental Schools Respond to the Prescription Opioid Crisis: A Statewide Collaboration

This Perspectives article outlines the national prescription opioid crisis, details its effects in Massachusetts, and describes the interdisciplinary collaboration among the Commonwealth, the three dental schools, the Massachusetts Dental Society, and a concerned student group. The article also describes the efforts each dental school is undertaking as well as an assessment of the challenges and limitations in implementing the initiative.

December 1, 2017 | Journal of Dental Education

ADEA Resources

2017 ADEA Opioid Legislation Chart ADEA SAMHSA Summit (200px)  
2017 ADEA Summary of State Legislation and Regulations Addressing Prescription Drug and Opioid Abuse Post-SAMHSA Summit Interviews
First-ever Regional ADEA–SAMHSA Summit on the Opioid Epidemic (Includes resources.)
ADEA State Legislation Map   ADEA State Regulation Map
ADEA United States Interactive Legislative Tracking Map (Select "Prescription Drug Monitoring" from the drop-down menu.) ADEA United States Interactive Regulatory Tracking Map (Select "Prescription Drug Monitoring" from the drop-down menu.)
ADEA Webinar: Opioid Abuse in the U.S. and Its Impact on Dental Education

Additional Resources 

SAMHSA Treatment Services Locator   SAMHSA TIP 54
SAMHSA Overdose Prevention Toolkit  

SAMHSA Behavioral Health Treatment Services Locator

TIP 54: Managing Chronic Pain in Adults With or In Recovery From Substance Use Disorders

SAMHSA Opioid Overdose Prevention Toolkit

UB Prescriber Training Program
ADA Opioid Abuse Information

Opioid Prescriber Training Program, University at Buffalo School of Pharmacy 

ADA Webpage on Prescription Opioid Abuse