When it comes to the nation’s opioid crisis, the numbers are alarming. A staggering 75% of individuals who began abusing opioids in the 2000s reported their first opioid was a prescription drug.1
As people continue to struggle with opioid addiction, we’ve set out to help by joining forces with the Arcora Foundation, dental professionals and policy makers across the state. We believe education about dental pain management and opioids is the best approach to limiting the devastating impacts of opioid misuse and abuse.
We know statistically, teenagers who receive an opioid prescription are 33% more likely to misuse opioids between the ages of 19 and 25.2 This age group is among the highest at risk and are dedicated to helping parents understand the devastating impacts of the opioid epidemic. It is common for patients in this age group to be prescribed opioids following the extraction of wisdom teeth. The developing brain is at increased risk for addiction, so limiting opioid exposure to the shortest duration possible is very important for this age group.
Washington State lawmakers, employers and healthcare providers recognize that if we want to tackle the opioid crisis, we must make some serious changes. New state regulations were implemented to make a difference in this crisis.
Education for providers who prescribe opioids
Any opioid prescription greater than a 7-day supply requires clinical documentation in the patient record to justify the need for such a quantity
To prevent “doctor shopping,” prescribers must check a state-wide database before refilling any opioid prescription
The dental industry plays an important role in providing pain management education and support to patients across the nation. Here are some of the ways we are partnering with dentists to help educate patients and mitigate the risks in this crisis:
If you or someone you know becomes addicted to opioids after dental pain treatment, help is available. You don’t have to manage it alone — talk to your doctor about safely stopping. Or use one of these tools for a confidential referral to a treatment program: