Safer Prescribing of Opioids for Pediatric Dentists

How often are kids approached by their peers, friends and even siblings to try drugs, alcohol, tobacco, and other substances?  And at what age does this pressure for substance use begin?

Studies show by the time they are seniors, almost 70 percent of high school students will have tried alcohol, half will have taken an illegal drug, nearly 40 percent will have smoked a cigarette, and more than 20 percent will have used a prescription drug for a non-medical purpose.

Parents should be aware that the source leading to substance misuse can come from unexpected places, like your dentist’s office.

Nearly 6 percent of people ages 16 to 25 who received an initial opioid prescription in 2015 from dentists were diagnosed with opioid abuse within a year, according to a 2018 study from Stanford University School of Medicine.

It’s important to give parents the information to protect their children from the risks of opioids and provide doctors information to prescribe responsibly to young children and adults.  

Tonight the Partnership for a Drug-Free New Jersey will be hosting a Do No Harm Symposium, along with the New York/New Jersey High Intensity Drug Trafficking Areas program, the Drug Enforcement Administration – New Jersey Division and the Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, to discuss the links between prescription opioids and heroin use and the steps needed for the New Jersey medical community to utilize safer prescribing methods.

I look forward to a healthy discussion with our panelists and the pediatric dentists in the audience.  Click HERE for more information about the New Jersey Dental Association Guidelines for prescriptions.

To learn more about the Partnership for a Drug-Free New Jersey’s school-based programs, visit to find out how to bring one of PDFNJ’s programs to your school.

Make healthy lifestyle choices by not using drugs!  

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