The American Dental Association (ADA) says that it supports new proposed laws that would set a limit of seven days for opioid painkiller prescriptions to treat dental pain. Lawmakers have proposed federal regulations to limit opioid prescriptions in order to combat the nationwide opioid epidemic, which has claimed more than 200,000 Americans since 1999.
The ADA’s support for the seven-day opioid limit was announced in a new study published in the Journal of the American Dental Association. The study also called for mandatory continuing education programs for dentists about the risks of opioids, and supported rules that would require dentists to register with Prescription Drug Monitoring Programs.
The ADA’s study also revealed that dental opioid prescriptions for patients age 11 to 18 years old have risen sharply in recent years. Because patients in this age range are especially vulnerable to abuse or addiction involving prescription drugs, limiting opioid prescriptions for patients in this group may help to curb the epidemic of opioid abuse, addiction, and overdoses that exploded in the U.S. since 1999.
The ADA’s support for a seven-day opioid prescription limit was bolstered by another new study also published by the Journal of the American Dental Association. The study showed that the use of Tylenol or ibuprofen to treat dental pain, rather than prescription painkillers, was “equal if not superior” to opioids like hydrocodone. Other recent studies have shown that over-the-counter pain relievers are just as effective at treating backaches and arthritis as opioid painkillers.
Proposals for a seven-day limit on opioid prescriptions may be an effective tool in helping to limit the risk of abuse and addiction caused by these drugs. According to a 2017 study released by the CDC, about 20% of patients become long-term opioid users after they are given a 10-day supply of prescription painkillers.
Despite growing evidence that opioid may not be the best method to treat many types of pain, other medical groups have been less willing than the ADA to embrace time limits for opioid prescriptions. The American Medical Association – the country’s largest group of doctors – has so far failed to endorse similar limits in an effort to solve the nation’s opioid crisis.
Thousands of lawsuits have been filed across the U.S. by individuals who have lost a loved one to an opioid overdose. These cases have included lawsuits against opioid manufacturers, distributors, doctors who prescribe these medications, pharmacies, and medical care centers.
If you have lost a loved one to an opioid overdose, contact the lawyers at Heygood, Orr & Pearson to find out whether you may qualify to file a case. Heygood, Orr & Pearson has filed more lawsuits involving the powerful opioid painkiller fentanyl than all other law firms in the U.S. combined. Our firm has also filed numerous claims involving other opioid medications, including hydrocodone, oxycodone, methadone, and hydromorphone.
For more information about filing an opioid overdose lawsuit and to find out whether you qualify, contact Heygood, Orr & Pearson by calling toll-free at 1-877-446-9001. You can also reach us by completing the free case evaluation form located at the top of this page.