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ADA pledges support for Partnership for Drug-Free Kids campaign

September 15, 2016

By Jennifer Garvin

Washington — In its continuing efforts to stop the overuse and abuse of opioids, the Association has joined the Partnership for Drug-Free Kids' Search and Rescue project, an education campaign designed to connect prescribers with training, information and resources to help patients who may be at risk for opioid addiction.

In a Sept. 15 letter to Marcia Lee Taylor, president and chief executive officer for Partnership for Drug-Free Kids, the Association pledged its support for the campaign, calling it an "opportunity for dentists to revisit their knowledge about how to safely manage dental pain."

"The Search and Rescue campaign complements what the ADA has been doing for several years to help dentists manage pain safely and effectively for patients who may be at risk for opioid addiction," wrote ADA President Carol Gomez Summerhays and Executive Director Kathleen T. O'Loughlin. "Working together, we can help reverse the trend of opioid abuse that has been devastating our families and communities."

In 2014, more than 47,000 people died from drug overdoses, and 40 percent of those cases involved opioid analgesics, according to a 2016 CDC fact sheet. The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration has reported nearly 2 million Americans abusing or being dependent on prescription pain relievers.

To assist prescribers, the campaign's website contains educational materials about screening for patients who may be at risk for developing an opioid addiction. It also contains resources on the use of non-narcotic alternatives to opioid analgesics, and ways to counsel patients about how opioids can be addictive and how to safely secure, monitor, and discard them at home.

For more information on the Search and Rescue campaign, visit the website.

For more information about the ADA's work to combat opioids abuse, visit ADA.org/opioids.