Finding ways to reign in opioid abuse

Discussing what dentists and all health care professionals should know about this epidemic is the focus of the Texas A&M College of Dentistry Center of Excellence conference Saturday, Oct. 22, from 8:30 a.m. until noon.
October 13th, 2016

White pills and a filled out prescription with pill bottle on the background.Drug overdose deaths are the leading cause of injury death in the United States. The majority of those deaths are the result of opioid abuse.

According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Opioid Initiative June 2016 update, more than 240 million prescriptions were written for prescription opioids in 2014 — more than enough to give a bottle of pills to every American adult — and 80 percent of new heroin users started out by misusing prescription opioids.

The issue is relevant to dentists, too, as they write 12 percent of the immediate-release opioid prescriptions in the U.S., according to a 2011 article in The Journal of the American Dental Association. Discussing what dentists and all health care professionals should know about this epidemic is the focus of the Texas A&M College of Dentistry Center of Excellence conference Saturday, Oct. 22, from 8:30 a.m. until noon.

Held in collaboration with Aetna, the National Dental Association and the Gulf State Dental Association, the conference is free and open to all physicians, dentists, dental hygienists, dental assistants, nurses, pharmacists, allied health professionals and health professions students.

Three hours of continuing education credit will be offered, and registration is required.

The conference will be in the Beasley Auditorium at Baylor University Medical Center at Dallas. The hospital, which is adjacent to the dental school, is located at 3500 Gaston Ave. in Dallas. For more information, please contact Cindy Seals in the College of Dentistry’s Office of Student Development & Multicultural Affairs at 214-828-8987.

— Ladawn Brock