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Making a Difference in the Opioid Crisis

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Opioid misuse has created an epidemic leading to opioid use disorder, overdose, and death.

person being helped from a pill bottle by a healthcare provider - addiction treatment concept ah_designs / iStock / Getty Images Plus
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In what year did the United States Department of Health and Human Services officially declare the opioid crisis a public health emergency?

American map covered with opioid painkillers like oxycodone and hydrocodone Moussa81 / iStock / Getty Images Plus
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National prescription drug monitoring programs (PDMP) are statewide databases that collect information from pharmacies on dispensed controlled substances and allow registered users, including dentists, to check the prescription history of patients.

Opioid crisis text on pill. Unhealthy addiction metaphor. Molecule and communication background. Connected lines with dots. Evgeny Gromov / iStock / Getty Images Plus
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Studies show that the use of PDMP by dentists has been high.

Opioid use disorder - Mental disorder diagnosis and treatment (abstract) Hailshadow / iStock / Getty Images Plus
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In 2016, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration reported approximately how many people ages 12 and older misused opioids?

people trapped inside pill capsules that are being emptied out of a pill bottle - prescription drug addiction concept ah_designs / iStock / Getty Images Plus
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The US Food and Drug Administration recommends medicine take-back options as the preferred method to safely dispose of most types of unused or expired prescription and over-the-counter medicines.

Drugs tablets pattern top view nevodka / iStock / Getty Images Plus
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People dependent on opioids are less likely to experience an overdose.

Naloxone Kit distributed by healthcare professionals to users to help combat opioid crisis in case of overdose. NewGig86 / iStock / Getty Images Plus
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Dental hygienists are well-positioned to educate patients about risks of addiction.

STOP The Opioid Crisis sign ABEMOS / iStock / Getty Images Plus
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Making a Difference in the Opioid Crisis
Not bad, but there’s room to grow when it comes to understanding how to make a difference in the opioid crisis. Consider reading more about this important facet of dental hygiene care. Good luck!
Well done! Continue to study how to make a difference in the opioid crisis. You’ve got this!
Congrats! You understand the importance of making a difference in the opioid crisis. Get out there and put your know-how to good use!

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This information is from the article Addressing the Opioid Crisis by Heather B. Allen, RDH, BSDH, MSHCM, Tricia S. Barker, RDH, BSDH, MEd and Tina Patel Gunaldo, PhD, DPT, MHS. To read the article, click here.

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