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In both 2021 and 2022, there were more than 100,00 overdose deaths in the United States. In 2020, 75% of the overdose deaths involved opioids and synthetic opioids (excluding methadone) were responsible for 82% of the opioid deaths. The opioid prescribing rate in the U.S. peaked and has been declining since 2012, but the morphine milligram equivalents (MME) prescribed per person is still approximately three times higher than in 1999. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) states “The best ways to prevent opioid overdose deaths are to improve opioid prescribing, reduce exposure to opioids, prevent misuse, and treat opioid use disorder.” In addition to reviewing the CDC data on the opioid crisis nationwide and in Maine, this talk will present Prescription Monitoring Program data from the 16 counties in Maine for the last five years including data by the prescriber’s profession and the total number of opioid prescriptions as they relate to the population and the number of overdose deaths in each county. The total number of oxycodone and hydrocodone prescriptions for each county will also be presented. The goal of the seminar is to inform healthcare professionals about the use of opioids for treating acute and chronic pain in Maine and present an alternative for treating pain with Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDs) and acetaminophen using data from the University of New England’s Oral Health Clinic. Dentists at UNE reduced the number of opioid prescriptions by 95% from 2016 to 2021.


  1. Examine the current state of the opioid crisis in the United States and Maine
  2. Discuss opioid prescribing patterns in Maine, using Prescription Monitoring Program data for the prescriber’s profession and total number of opioids prescribed, as they relate to the population and number of overdose deaths in each county
  3. Discuss the total number of oxycodone and hydrocodone prescriptions dispensed in relation to the population and the number of overdoses in each county in Maine.
  4. Describe Chapter 11: Rules Governing the Controlled Substances Prescription Monitoring Program and Prescription of Opioid Medications in the State of Maine
  5. Discuss the Centers for Disease Control Clinical Practice Guidelines for Prescribing Opioids for Pain (2022)
  6. Describe the mechanism of action of opioids, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) and acetaminophen
  7. Discuss strategies for treating acute dental pain with non-opioid analgesics.
  8. Discuss potential solutions for solving the opioid crisis using data from UNE’s Oral Health Clinic, Maine’s PMP data and case-based learning.

Online Course Evaluation – How it works:

After the live meeting ends:

  1. Log into this online course
  2. Click below on “Course Survey” to access the survey. After completing the survey, return to the course page.
  3. After you submit the evaluation, click Mark Complete and you will be able to download or print your certificate. The certificate will also be emailed to you as a PDF.
  4. If you need a certificate for Continuing Medical Education, you will be emailed a CME certificate within 2-3 weeks of completion of the course evaluation.