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American Dental Association Joins American Medical Association Task Force to Address America’s Opioid Crisis

August 13, 2015

Contact Information:
E-mail: mediarelations@ada.org (Journalists) or Contact ADA (All Others)

CHICAGO — Opioid abuse has reached crisis levels across the country, with 44 people dying each day from overdose of opioids, and many more becoming addicted. Recognizing the urgency and serious impact of this issue on the health of hundreds of thousands of patients across the country, the American Medical Association (AMA) formed a Task Force to Reduce Opioid Abuse that recently announced the first of several national recommendations to address this growing epidemic.

“As healthcare professionals, we’re on the front lines of this issue and see how it causes devastating destruction for every life that it touches,” said ADA President, Dr. Maxine Feinberg. “Together, we can harness the collective power of preventative education and intervention to help reverse this epidemic. The ADA stands firmly behind this task force.”

The AMA Task Force to Reduce Opioid Abuse is comprised of 27 physician organizations including the AMA, American Osteopathic Association, 17 specialty and seven state medical societies  as well as the American Dental Association that are committed to identifying the best practices to combat this public health crisis and move swiftly to implement those practices across the country.

 “We have joined together as part of this special Task Force because we collectively believe that it is our responsibility to work together to provide a clear road map that will help bring an end to this public health epidemic,” said AMA Board Chair-Elect Patrice A. Harris, M.D., MA. “We are committed to working long-term on a multi-pronged, comprehensive public health approach to end opioid abuse in America.”

The new initiative will seek to significantly enhance physicians’ education on safe, effective and evidence-based prescribing. This includes a new resource web page that houses vital information on prescription drug monitoring programs (PDMPs) and their effectiveness for physician practices, as well as, a robust national marketing, social and communications campaign to significantly raise awareness of the steps that physicians can take to combat this epidemic and ensure they are aware of all options available to them for appropriate prescribing.

Editor’s Note: Reporters are invited to follow the ADA on Twitter @AmerDentalAssn

About the ADA

The not-for-profit ADA is the nation's largest dental association, representing 159,000 dentist members. The premier source of oral health information, the ADA has advocated for the public's health and promoted the art and science of dentistry since 1859. The ADA's state-of-the-art research facilities develop and test dental products and materials that have advanced the practice of dentistry and made the patient experience more positive. The ADA Seal of Acceptance long has been a valuable and respected guide to consumer dental care products. The monthly The Journal of the American Dental Association (JADA) is the ADA's flagship publication and the best-read scientific journal in dentistry. For more information about the ADA, visit ADA.org. For more information on oral health, including prevention, care and treatment of dental disease, visit the ADA's consumer website MouthHealthy.org

About the AMA
The American Medical Association is the premier national organization dedicated to empowering the nation’s physicians to continually provide safer, higher quality, and more efficient care to patients and communities. For more than 165 years the AMA has been unwavering in its commitment to using its unique position and knowledge to shape a healthier future for America.