WEST ALLIS, WIS., March 26, 2018 —Taking the lead among national health care associations, the American Dental Association today announced support for a series of nationwide policy changes that will both increase provider awareness of the dangers of overprescribing opioids and protect the American public.

The Wisconsin Dental Association endorses these efforts and is proud to continue its work as a leader at the state level in this endeavor.

The measures, most of which coincide with action that Wisconsin has taken on its own, are as follows:

  • Supporting mandatory continuing education for dentists regarding the responsible prescribing of opioids
  • Supporting dentists utilizing the Prescription Drug Monitoring Program (PDMP)
  • Supporting limits on opioid prescription for a maximum duration of seven days

“As in so many other areas, Wisconsin is at the forefront of the fight against opioid abuse and addiction,” said WDA President Dr. Dave Clemens (Wisconsin Dells). “Our profession recognizes the threat that abuse and addiction pose to our society, and we have a responsibility to do our part to prevent any more families from being affected.”

Wisconsin dentists are already required to complete two hours on responsible opioid prescribing as part of their 30 hours of mandatory biennial continuing education. All Wisconsin prescribers, including dentists, are also mandatory participants in Wisconsin’s Enhanced PDMP.

“Wisconsin is proud to lead the way when it comes to our nationally recognized Enhanced Prescription Drug Monitoring Program, which was created with feedback from Wisconsin’s prescribers,” said Department of Safety and Professional Services Secretary Laura Gutiérrez. “The latest report shows the efforts taken by Wisconsin prescribers, including dentists, are moving the dial against the opioid epidemic with a 20 percent reduction in opioid prescriptions from 2015 to 2017.”

“The WDA was one of the first medical organizations in Wisconsin to partner with the Department of Justice and commit to ending opioid abuse in the state,” said Attorney General Brad Schimel. “I have enjoyed WDA’s partnership on our Dose of Reality campaign to end prescription painkiller abuse and have appreciated the opportunity, every year, to present to third-year Marquette University School of Dentistry students about the dangers of opioid misuse.”