ADA and HealthFirst Address Dentistry’s Role in the Opioid Epidemic

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Administration of naloxone

The American Dental Association (ADA) has issued a groundbreaking new policy on opioids, recognizing the need for dentistry to make positive changes that can reduce opioid addiction. Likewise, HealthFirst is taking a leadership role on the opioid crisis by adding NARCAN® Nasal Spray (naloxone) to its basic emergency medical kits.

ADA President Joseph P. Crowley, D.D.S. stated, “I call upon dentists everywhere to double down on their efforts to prevent opioids from harming our patients and their families. This new policy demonstrates ADA’s firm commitment to help fight the country’s opioid epidemic while continuing to help patients manage dental pain.”

ADA focuses on education, limits and monitoring

In the new policy, the ADA supports:

  • Mandatory continuing education in prescribing 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 (PDMPs) to promote the appropriate use of opioids and deter misuse and abuse.

HealthFirst is helping with NARCAN®

Like the ADA, HealthFirst wants to help dental professionals and communities around the nation overcome the opioid epidemic. HealthFirst has added NARCAN® Nasal Spray (naloxone) to the core set of medications in the SM Series basic emergency medical kit, which is trusted by tens of thousands of U.S. dental offices and is endorsed by ADA Member Advantage.

NARCAN Nasal Spray is easy to administer, and SM Series kits include two of the sprays. Now general dentists can be equipped with NARCAN to save a patient’s life in the event of an opioid overdose.

Learn more about the SM Series emergency medical kit.

This blog post draws upon a news release published by the ADA.

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