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Senate passes opioids bill, 94-1

March 11, 2016 The Senate on March 10 passed the Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act, 94-1.

The bill, S. 524, is intended to help reduce prescription opioid and heroin abuse in the U.S. and establishes a federal task force to develop best practices for pain management and prescribing pain medication.

The Association considers the legislation an important step towards curbing the rates of addiction, overdoses and deaths associated with prescription opioid abuse.

“Opioid pain medications, such as hydrocodone and oxycodone, have become a leading source of drug abuse among teens and young adults,” wrote ADA President Carol Gomez Summerhays and Executive Director Kathleen T. O’Loughlin in a Feb. 24 letter to the Senate. “As prescribers of these painkilling medications, dentists have a role to play in preventing their diversion, misuse and abuse.”

In addition to helping dental offices in developing best practices, the bill would help communities develop local support services and provide funds to improve the design and operation of prescription drug monitoring programs.

For more information about prescription opioid use in dentistry, visit