Recently, the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) has announced new requirements for dentists who prescribe and administer controlled substances. These requirements are aimed at combatting the ongoing opioid epidemic by ensuring that dentists are prescribing these medications appropriately and responsibly. In this blog post, we will explore the new DEA requirements for dentists and what they mean for both dental practitioners and patients.
First and foremost, it's important to understand that these new requirements are not optional. Dentists who prescribe or administer controlled substances must comply with them, or risk losing their DEA registration and facing potential legal consequences. The new requirements include:
- Completing Continuing Education: Dentists who prescribe or administer controlled substances must complete a minimum of two hours of continuing education on the topic of opioids and other controlled substances. This education must be completed every three years.
- Using Prescription Drug Monitoring Programs (PDMPs): Dentists must use their state's PDMP to review a patient's prescription history before prescribing a controlled substance. This is to ensure that the patient is not receiving opioids or other controlled substances from multiple providers, which can increase the risk of addiction and overdose.
- Writing Prescriptions Carefully: Dentists must ensure that their prescriptions for controlled substances are written accurately and with appropriate details, including the patient's name, medication name, dosage, quantity, and directions for use. Dentists must also avoid overprescribing and must only prescribe controlled substances when it is medically necessary.
- Safe Storage and Disposal: Dentists must ensure that any controlled substances they store are secured and stored in a locked cabinet or other secure location. Additionally, they must also provide patients with information on safe disposal of any unused controlled substances.
Starting on June 27, 2023, all Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) registered practitioners prescribing controlled substances (Schedules II, III, IV, and/or V) must complete an 8-hour training requirement. Dentists must check a box on their online DEA registration form to show completion of the training. The training must be completed before an initial registration or registration renewal on or after June 27, 2023. Dentists can fulfill the requirement if they graduated from dental school within 5 years of June 27, 2023 or by completing the 8 hours of required training. Previous training taken from a DEA-recognized organization before December 29, 2022, and hours taken from a DEA-recognized organization to meet the Texas State Board of Dental Examiners' controlled substances continuing education requirements count towards the DEA's 8-hour training requirement.
These new requirements may seem daunting, but they are essential for protecting patients and reducing the risk of opioid addiction and overdose. By requiring dentists to take continuing education courses and use PDMPs, the DEA is helping to ensure that controlled substances are only prescribed when absolutely necessary and that patients are not receiving multiple prescriptions for the same medication.
Furthermore, the requirements for safe storage and disposal of controlled substances can help prevent these medications from falling into the wrong hands, such as children or individuals with a history of substance abuse.
In conclusion, while the new DEA requirements may require additional effort and resources from dental practitioners, they are an important step towards reducing the opioid epidemic and promoting responsible prescribing practices. Dentists must adapt to these changes by familiarizing themselves with the new regulations, registering with the DEA, participating in the Prescription Monitoring Program, engaging in continuing education, and maintaining accurate record-keeping and reporting practices. By adhering to these requirements, dentists can contribute to a safer and healthier healthcare system while providing optimal care to their patients.
If you have any questions, please reach out to our office and speak to our licensed Dental Attorney.