Source: Minnesota Department of Health, presentation during Delta Dental of Minnesota w.i.t.s. program
Stigma is Real
In her talk at w.i.t.s., Bridgett Anderson explained that stigma refers to negative perceptions commonly associated with substance abuse and addiction. Stigma is a public health issue and contributes to increased rates of death, incarceration and mental health concerns among the dependent population. It is essential that we as dental professionals are treating our patients as a whole person, rather just caring for their teeth.
9 million individuals have diagnosed mental illness and a substance abuse diagnosis Only 7.4% of these individuals receive treatment for both 8% receive no treatment at all
Dentistry is affected
In Minnesota, dentists are the fifth-highest prescriber of opioids, accounting for about 12 percent of all immediate-release opioids in the United States. The Minnesota Board of Dentistry has offered guidance on safe prescribing and use of opioids in dental settings – crucial to all of us operating in Minnesota. See the statement here.