A new policy will help reduce opioid overprescribing among young people.

WASHINGTON – Shatterproof, a national nonprofit organization dedicated to ending the devastation addiction causes families, applauded the American Dental Association’s (ADA) adoption of a new policy that will help reduce access to opioids for young people. This is an important step in reducing the supply of pills available for illicit use and exposing young people to highly addictive medications.

The policy supports mandatory continuing education in prescribing opioids and other controlled substances; statutory limits on opioid dosage and duration, limiting to maximum seven days for treatment of acute pain (Following the evidence-based practices of the CDC); dentists registering with and utilizing Prescription Drug Monitoring Programs (PDMPs).

Dentist prescriptions account for 31 percent of adolescents’ first exposure to opioids, with 10 to 19 year olds being prescribed a 60-day supply, on average. What’s worse, according to a study in the journal Pediatrics, teens who received a prescription for an opioid medication before the 12th grade had a 33 percent higher chance of misusing an opioid between the ages of 19 and 25.

Shatterproof Chief Marketing Officer Shannon Hartley issued the following statement in support of this policy:

“For many teens, dental work may be their first exposure to opioid pain medications. Even though over the counter medications like Tylenol & Advil have proven to be as effective most of the time, dentists continue to be the lead prescribers of opioids for our children. This is why the American Dental Association’s new policy, urging dentist to cut back on prescribing, is so important. It adopts a preventive approach that will reduce the number of children who are offered opioid medications, while ensuring doctors, patients and communities have the right information and tools to manage pain after common dental procedures. Policies like these are encouraging and represent a step in the right direction.”

About Shannon Hartley:

Shannon Hartley is the Chief Marketing officer, where she leads the teams responsible for delivering the programs and services that support the Shatterproof mission. Her team leads the marketing and educational programs to end the stigma associated with addiction, provides resources to support families and communities focused on preventing addiction and supporting those seeking information on evidence-based treatment and recovery support. Her team leads the program, fundraising and volunteerism activities for Shatterproof.

About Shatterproof:

Shatterproof is a national nonprofit organization dedicated to reducing the devastation the disease of addiction causes families. Shatterproof works to end the stigma and foster a community of support, providing evidence-based resources to support prevention, treatment and recovery. Shatterproof advocates for changes in policy at the federal and state level and supports the development and implementation of evidence-based solutions for substance use disorders.


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