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Course Information

What coursework is required and what content should be included? 
Coursework for this requirement must be from approved training providers on safe controlled substance prescribing. As an overarching concept, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) recommends that content should be related to the prevention, recognition, and care of people with substance use disorders, including those with concurrent pain and/or psychiatric and medical co-morbidities. Categorized for organizational purposes, recommended core curricular training elements could therefore include:

1.    Substance Use Disorders (SUD)

  • Use of validated screening tools for SUD and risk factors for substance use, including mental disorders 
  • Diagnosis and assessment of individuals who screen positive for SUDs
  • The initiation and management of FDA-approved medications for SUDs (opioids, alcohol and tobacco), including the impact of unique, individual physiology and metabolism on medication pharmacodynamics 
  • Consideration of polysubstance use and co-occurring mental disorders 
  • Patient and family education on safety and overdose prevention (diversion control; safe storage; use of naloxone) 

2.    Effective Treatment Planning 

  • Use of patient-centered decision-making and paradigms of care, and use of evidence-based communication strategies such as shared decision-making and motivational interviewing 
  • The impact of stigma, trauma and the social determinants of health on substance use and recovery • Collaborating with other disciplines to facilitate access to medications and Legal and ethical issues involved in the care of patients with SUD 3. Pain management and substance misuse 
  • The assessment of patients with acute, subacute, or chronic Components of developing an effective treatment plan, including general principles underlying nonpharmacologic and pharmacologic analgesic therapy, as well as the importance of multidisciplinary treatment interventions 
  • Managing patients on opioid analgesics, including tapering off the medication when the benefits of opioids no longer outweigh the risks
  • Recognizing signs of OUD in the setting of prescribed opioids 

Who can offer these classes?
Only approved training providers can satisfy this requirement. Local approved training providers include Massachusetts Dental Society (MDS), and Tufts University School of Dental Medicine. Both are ADA CERP Providers. Certificates of completion are required and CE credits are not required. 

There is no statute of limitations. (It is recommended that courses provided by the same lecturer taken in multiple years only be counted once). Prior courses are eligible with the certificate of completion. (It is recommended that only courses taken within the past five years be used). Training credits for state licensure are eligible. 

Where can you take these classes? 

The Massachusetts Dental Society (ADA CERP provider) provides Yankee continuing education (CE) credits.

Archived lectures
Tufts: Controlled Substance Risk Mitigation Education Modules

MDS, "Pharmacologic Management of Acute Dental Pain & the Prescription Opioid Epidemic"—Drs. Harold and Keith (two hours) 

Additional information
American Dental Association

ADA CERP provider
Massachusetts Dental Society  
Tufts University School of Dental Medicine CE Department