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Opioid prescribing webinars set for April

A series of webinars on prescribing opioids continues April 10.

Opioids and Nonopioids Prescription for Dental Care in Emergency Departments in the United States is scheduled for 2-3 p.m. Central time April 10. Dr. Christopher Okunseri, associate professor and director of the predoctoral program in dental public health at the Marquette University School of Dentistry, will discuss a study that examined emergency department providers' prescribing practices of opioids, nonopioids, a combination of the two and analgesics for nontraumatic dental visits in the United States.

Dr. Okunseri will discuss how most patients with nontraumatic dental conditions come to emergency rooms with oral pain and receive opioid prescriptions. Short-term analgesics are critical for managing acute pain, but long-term use could mask symptoms of underlying injury or disease and create a potential for pain tolerance, substance abuse and exacerbate drug-seeking behavior among addicts of analgesics, according to the webinar description.

Dr. Okunseri, an adjunct associate professor at the Medical College of Wisconsin and diplomate of the American Board of Dental Public Health, will talk about how the need for a reduction in the unnecessary prescribing of addictive pain medication is crucial to preventing side effects and has potential public policy and program implications.

The webinars are part of a sub-award the ADA received from the American Academy of Addictive Psychiatry from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration's Center for Substance Abuse Treatment, which received a grant to create webinars and training on treating pain and opioid addiction. The center is paying for the Prescriber's Clinical Support System for the Appropriate Use of Opioids in the Treatment of Pain and Opioid-related Addiction, a collaborative effort among medical associations to provide training on the topic.

Those who participate in the April 10 webinar are eligible to earn one hour of continuing education credit. To register, contact Alison Siwek, manager of dentist health and wellness for the Council on Dental Practice, at siweka@ada.org or 1-312-440-2622.