The ADA is taking an active role in National Prescription Drug Take Back Day on October 26.
The goal of the event is to safely dispose of unused prescription medications and raise awareness and action to the U.S. opioid public health crisis.
The ADA promotes the safe use of opioid pain medications for dental patients and their families. Over the last five years, dentists have written nearly 500,000 fewer opioid prescriptions, and in 2018 was the first national health professional organization to mandate limits on opioid prescriptions.
"For years, dentists have been self-regulating their own prescribing habits in order to do what is best for patients," said ADA President Chad Gehani, DDS. "As a profession, we make a promise to our patients that we will be good stewards of their health. We will continue to fight the opioid epidemic by keeping that promise and upholding the all-important doctor-patient relationship."
Instead of opioids, the organization recommends its 163,000 members consider nonsteroidal, anti-inflammatory drugs as the first choice for acute pain management.
The ADA also advocates the following:
- Offering free online webinars and in-person continuing education for dental professionals
- Urging dentists to register with their state prescription drug monitoring programs
- Providing patient-friendly resources to inform the public how over-the-counter pain relievers can often effectively relieve short-term dental pain