While opioid misuse is an ongoing safety and health care quality issue for our community, local efforts to fight this epidemic are making a difference. According to the Massachusetts Department of Public Health, the rate of opioid-related overdose deaths in 2019 is an estimated 6% lower compared to 2016.
Dental Blue providers contributed to this effort by prescribing fewer opioid prescriptions while continuing to treat their patients safely and effectively. We’ve seen a decrease in opioid prescriptions written for our members each quarter since the start of 2018. In the first quarter of 2018, Dental Blue dentists wrote 1,226 prescriptions for opioids for our members, compared to 809 in the first quarter of 2020, a 34% decrease.
This significant decrease is due to dentists:
Thank you, Dental Blue providers, for being key to improving our short-acting opioid treatment protocols.
Here’s how we continue to work together to fight opioid use in Massachusetts: