Preventing Opioid Misuse, Abuse, and Diversion
MDS Position on Opioids
As part of Governor Charlie Baker’s Working Group on Dental Education on Prescription Drug Misuse, Massachusetts dentists were the first in the nation to partner with the Commonwealth’s three dental schools to announce a set of dental education core competencies for the prevention and management of prescription drug misuse. Massachusetts dentists also worked with policymakers to enact landmark legislation limiting opioid prescriptions to a seven-day supply for minors and first-time adult prescriptions. This legislation, passed in 2016, also included mandatory continuing education and prescription monitoring requirements.
The MDS 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 U.S. 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
In 2018, the American Dental Association announced a policy to combat the opioid epidemic impacting the United States. This policy is fully aligned with the position of the MDS.