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ADA supports National Recovery Month

May 10, 2016

By Jennifer Garvin

Rockville, Md. — In its continuing efforts to help halt the overuse and abuse of opioid painkillers, the Association is once again supporting National Recovery Month.

This is the 13th consecutive year the Association has participated in National Recovery Month, which was created to raise awareness of substance use disorders and encourage those who are suffering to get help.

In a letter to Kana Enomoto, acting administrator of the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, ADA President Carol Gomez Summerhays and Executive Director Kathleen T. O'Loughlin praised the administration's work to promote the benefits of addiction treatment and the work of substance abuse treatment providers.

"For 20 years, the ADA has helped state dental societies develop peer assistance programs to get impaired dentists into treatment before they have an alcohol- or drug-related incident," wrote Drs. Summerhays and O'Loughlin. "These programs leverage the confidentiality, trust, and understanding of a tightly knit profession to support dentists throughout their recovery, and help them establish some measure of long-term stability in their lives."

National Recovery Month, which is celebrated in September, is an opportunity to build "stronger ties between state and local dental societies and the recovery community at large," noted Drs. Summerhays and O'Loughlin. It's also an opportunity for dentists to reinforce best practices in regards to safely prescribing opioid pain medication — including how to spot signs that a patient may be seeking opioid pain medications for non-medical purposes and and how to counsel and refer those patients for treatment.

For more information about opioids, including upcoming webinars and subscriber tips, visit ADA.org/opioids.