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Nearly One in Three Dentists Say They Know of an Opioid-Addicted Fellow Practitioner, Dentist's Money Digest Survey Shows


Leading dental magazine shines a light on the U.S. opioid addiction epidemic

PLAINSBORO, N.J. (August 17, 2016) — Nearly one in three dentists say they know of a fellow dentist who has been addicted to prescription opioids, according to a Dentist’s Money Digest reader survey. Two articles published today in the leading digest for dentists focus not only on the personal impact of the opioid addiction problem, but also on the prescribing habits of dentists. Both articles can be accessed at www.dmdtoday.com.

The survey, conducted online from July 7 through Aug. 6, tapped 196 dentists, 82 percent of whom are general practitioners and 62 percent of whom work as solo practitioners. It addresses what the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention calls an epidemic in the U.S.

“Opioid overdose claimed 28,000 lives in 2014, and it is believed that almost half of those deaths were due to prescription opioid pain relievers,” said Jeff Prescott, PharmD, RPh, Senior Vice President, Operations and Clinical Affairs at Intellisphere LLC, which publishes Dentist’s Money Digest. “We hope that these articles will shine a light on the issue of opioid addiction for our readers and highlight the important role dentists can play in helping to stem the tide of this growing problem.”

Dentist’s Money Digest, serving 64,000 dentists nationwide, designed the survey to gauge how dentists view opioid abuse, their prescribing habits, and whether they have ever faced opioid addiction themselves or were aware of opioid abuse among their colleagues. The results of the opioid abuse survey are presented in the article, “One-Third of Dentists Know of an Opioid-Addicted Colleague.”

Other key findings include the fact that when prescribing opioids, 51 percent of dentists said they prescribe less than a two-week supply, with many saying they prescribe two to four days’ worth of pills. Only 59 percent said they screen patients for possible addiction problems before prescribing opioids.

A second article features an interview with addiction expert Joseph Garbely, DO, medical director at Caron Treatment Centers, who addresses how dentists and other health care professionals deal with opioid addiction in patients and in their own lives. Many addicted dentists worry that their professional societies will ban them from practice, but Garbely said state medical and dental boards are coming to understand addiction as a disease that can be treated.

“As human beings first, [dentists] are entitled to have diseases. And there is help,” he said in the article, “Addiction Expert Says There’s Hope for Opioid-Addicted Dentists.”

About Dentist’s Money Digest®

Dentist’s Money Digest is an online business and finance journal for today’s dentist. The site provides daily practice management, personal finance and lifestyle stories designed to keep dental professionals up-to-date in a rapidly changing health care landscape. Content features a mix of news updates, columns and expert advice from dental and financial professionals that is tailored to fit the needs of dentists. Dentist’s Money Digest is published by Intellisphere LLC.


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