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Overview

Alcoholism and other substance use disorders are primary, chronic, and often progressive diseases that can affect every aspect of life and health. The ADA works closely with government agencies, public health leaders and others to ensure the problems associated with substance use disorders are addressed at the community, individual and professional levels. These efforts include:

  • Raising public awareness about the oral health consequences of alcohol and drug abuse;
  • Ensuring dentists are knowledgeable about the oral health problems associated with alcohol and drug abuse and the complications that could arise when treating patients with an undisclosed substance use disorder;
  • Encouraging advanced training for dentists to learn how to counsel parents about the proper storage and disposal of prescription drugs and recognize when a patient may be seeking opioid medications for non-medical purposes (and know what to do when that occurs); and
  • Strengthening peer assistance programs designed to help impaired dentists get into treatment before they have an alcohol- or drug-related incident (and help them establish some measure of long-term stability in their lives).

Footnotes

1 George A. Kenna and Mark D. Wood, The prevalence of alcohol, cigarette and illicit drug use and problems among dentists, J Am Dent Assoc 136, no. 7 (2005): 1023.

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Letters and Testimony

  • September 25, 2012—Press release on efforts to help prevent prescription drug abuse.
  • September 25, 2012—Letter expressing support for the Drug Enforcement Administration’s National Prescription Drug Take-Back Initiative 2012.
  • September 25, 2012—Letter expressing support for the Partnership at DrugFree.org’s Medicine Abuse Project.
  • August 2, 2012—Letter expressing support for the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s National Recovery Month 2012.
  • May 21, 2012—Letter urging the House Committee on Energy and Commerce to mark up H.R. 5711, the Access to Substance Abuse Treatment Act of 2012, and forwarded to the full House with a unanimous recommendation for passage.
  • October 17, 2011—Letter expressing support for the Drug Enforcement Administration’s National Prescription Drug Take Back Initiative.
  • March 3, 2011—Letter expressing support for the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration's National Recovery Month 2011.
  • September 17, 2010—Letter urging members of the House Committee on Energy and Commerce to support H.R. 5678, the Universal Access to Methamphetamine Treatment Act of 2010.
  • July 19, 2010—Letter to the House Committee on Energy and Commerce, expressing support for H.R. 5466, the SAMHSA Modernization Act of 2010.
  • July 19, 2010—Letter expressing support for the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration's National Alcohol and Drug Addiction Recovery Month 2010.
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ADA Resources

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Additional Resources

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Contact Us

Federal Affairs
1111 14th Street NW, Suite 1100
Washington, DC 20005
202.898.2400
Fax: 202.898.2437
E-mail: govtpol@ada.org

State Government Affairs
ADA Chicago Headquarters
211 East Chicago Avenue
Chicago, IL 60611
312.440.2525
Fax: 312.440.3539
E-mail: govtpol@ada.org

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In Focus

IMAGE: JADA Cover July 2011

IMAGE: PCSS-O Training

IMAGE: The Medicine Abuse Project

Image: Disposing Unused Drugs

IMAGE: National Recovery Month