Tackling the national opioid crisis requires ongoing collaboration across the dental, medical, law enforcement and education communities. As one of the nation’s largest providers of dental benefits, Delta Dental has been and will continue to be a leading partner in the prevention of opioid abuse.
We believe that the most powerful partnership may actually be the most overlooked—the one between patient and medical provider. The good news is that the number of opioid prescriptions nationally has been declining. A recent analysis of claims data of 1,000 insured dental patients, published by the American Dental Association, however, shows that dentists have written more prescriptions for opioids since 2010, and that they are the most likely medical professionals to prescribe opioids to 11- to 18-year-olds.
Still, most opioid abuse happens because someone other than the patient uses the drug. Education and proper disposal of medication is critical. To help communicate and protect your patients against opioid misuse, you can now download an oral health flier on the topic, or request print copies for your office at no charge to you.
In Michigan, new opioid laws will take effect June 1 aimed at curbing the state’s increasing substance abuse and drug diversion problem. View an overview of the new laws and frequently asked questions, drafted by the Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs and the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services.
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