July 19 webinar will address the opioid crisis, prescribing trends

A free lunchtime webinar on Thursday, July 19, will examine the current state of the nation’s opioid crisis, including deaths from prescription and illicit opioids, prescribing trends and some of the efforts being made to address the crisis.

Hosted by the ADA and presented by Dr. Scott Winiecki, team lead for the Food and Drug Administration’s Safe Use Initiative, the webinar, according to the event registration page, will specifically discuss:

  • Roles of the FDA and state prescription drug monitoring programs
  • Recent publications on appropriate prescribing as related to dentistry
  • Future actions recommended by several expert panels
  • Safe disposal of unused medication in order to decrease the risk of diversion and abuse

The one-hour webinar begins at noon Pacific Standard Time. Attendees may be eligible to receive one hour of continuing education credit through the ADA Continuing Education Recognition Program. Online registration for the webinar is free and can be completed in under a minute.

Register for the webinar.

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At least 130 bills to combat the nation’s opioid epidemic have been introduced in U.S. Congress since January, and California is mounting its own legislative efforts to curb opioid abuse. CDA has identified 19 bills in the current session that can be classified into five main categories of opioid legislation. Among these, CDA is taking an official support position on five bills and a support if amended position on a sixth. A summary of the bills and how they may impact the way dentists practice and prescribe follows.

The Department of Justice announced that California’s Controlled Substance Utilization Review and Evaluation System, also known as CURES 2.0, is ready for statewide use and that mandatory CURES consultation becomes effective Oct. 2, 2018. Beginning on this date, prescribers must check a patient’s prescription history in CURES 2.0 before prescribing a Schedule II-IV substance, with some exceptions.

The ADA on March 26 adopted a new policy to combat the opioid epidemic, calling it the potential first of its kind by a major health professional organization to support mandates on opioid prescription limits and continuing education. “I call upon dentists everywhere to double down on their efforts to prevent opioids from harming our patients and their families,” said ADA President Joseph P. Crowley, DDS, in a press release. The Interim Board Policy on Opioid Prescribing addresses continuing education, dosage and duration, and prescription and drug monitoring.