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International Overdose Awareness Day remembers without stigma those who have died

ADA raises awareness, takes action on opioid public health crisis

August 24, 2021

By David Burger

International Overdose Awareness Day is Aug. 31

It is the world’s largest annual campaign to end overdose and an opportunity to remember without stigma those who have died and acknowledge the grief of the family and friends left behind.

The ADA continues to be dedicated to raising awareness and taking action on the opioid public health crisis and has advocated to keep opioid pain relievers from harming dental patients and their families and worked to raise professional awareness on medication alternatives to opioids.

“A growing body of research supports ADA policy that dentists should consider prescribing non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs alone or in combination with acetaminophen over opioids as first-line therapy for acute pain management,” said Robert Margolin, D.D.S., a member of the ADA Council on Advocacy for Access and Prevention.

In March 2018, the ADA adopted policy related to opioid prescribing by dentists for acute pain that supports:
• Mandatory continuing education regarding prescription of opioids and other controlled substances.
• Statutory limits on opioid dosage and duration of no more than seven days for the treatment of acute pain, consistent with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention evidence-based guidelines.
• Dentists registering with and utilizing prescription drug monitoring programs  to promote the appropriate use of opioids and deter misuse and abuse.

The ADA has developed patient-friendly resources to inform the public that over-the-counter medication can often effectively relieve short-term dental pain.

Learn more at ADA.org/opioids and MouthHealthy.org/opioids. A recorded ADA webinar, Emergency Department Referral Model in Action: Addressing Dental Access Opioid Prevention and Pain Management, is available for viewing.

Resources and more information about the observance can be found by visiting overdoseday.com.