Disciplines:
  • Dentists
  • Dental Hygienists
  • Dental Assistants
Hours: 3 Contact Hours
Author(s):
  • Marnie Oakley, DMD
  • Jean O’Donnell, DMD, MSN
  • Michael A. Zemaitis, PhD
Peer Reviewer(s): Wayne McElhiney, DPh, DDS
Item#: L0705
Contents: 1 Course Book (70 pages)
Sign up for the Western Schools 365 Online Membership
Online Access to all our dental CE courses for a full year!

Prescription Drug Abuse Among Dental Patients: Scope, Prevention, and Management Considerations in West Virginia



Price $29.95
Item # L0705
When available, the Online Course format is included with the hard copy, eBook, or audio book formats!

Release Date: May 22, 2015
Expiration Date: May 21, 2018

Abuse of prescription drugs has been labeled a national epidemic.  It crosses boundaries of gender, age, race, and socioeconomic status. For dental patients, pain is often an unavoidable sequela of invasive dental procedures and untreated or long-standing oral disease. Balancing the desire to alleviate pain against the suspicion that the patient may be a drug seeker is just one issue that confronts dental providers.  This basic-level course provides dental providers with an appreciation of the scope of prescription drug abuse and governmental efforts to combat it -- both nationally and in West Virginia. By becoming familiar with the pharmacology of the most commonly abused drugs, the risk factors for developing addictive behaviors, and the manner in which these medications are commonly acquired, dental providers in West Virginia will be positioned to curb prescribing practices that contribute to this growing problem and better serve their patients and their communities as informed prevention advocates.

West Virginia Dental Professionals - This course fulfills your drug diversion and best practices of prescribing controlled substances requirement.

AGD Subject Code: 157

Western Schools designates this activity for 3 continuing education credits.

Course Objectives
  • Describe the history and scope of prescription drug abuse and the role of the dental professional.
  • Define the terminology used in discussing prescription drug abuse.
  • Explain the pharmacology, physiology, and regulatory control of the prescription drugs that are most commonly abused and the extent and impact of their nonmedical use.
  • Describe the populations most at risk for abusing prescription drugs and their access to these drugs.
  • Discuss the tactics and resources available to manage and prevent prescription drug abuse in the dental practice.
Marnie Oakley, DMD, is an associate professor and associate dean of clinical affairs at the University of Pittsburgh School of Dental Medicine, from which she received her DMD in 1992. Dr. Oakley served in both active duty and reserve roles as a dental officer in the United States Navy. As an experienced educator, she has taught numerous courses related to clinical dentistry, including Oral Diagnosis and Treatment Planning, Clinical Restorative Dentistry, and the Clinical Responsibility course series. In addition to being a published author and presenter on the subject of prescription drug abuse, Dr. Oakley currently serves on the Expert Panel for the Prevention of Prescription Abuse in the Workplace (PAW), a program that works with grantees of the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) to reduce prescription drug abuse in the workplace.

Jean O’Donnell, DMD, MSN, is an associate professor and associate dean for academic affairs at the University of Pittsburgh School of Dental Medicine, from which she received her DMD in 1990. Dr. O’Donnell holds a bachelor’s degree in nursing from Pennsylvania State University and a master’s degree in nursing from the University of Pittsburgh. She is a graduate of the American Dental Education Association (ADEA) Leadership Institute and currently serves as one of the University’s liaisons to the ADEA Commission on Change and Innovation in Dental Education. Dr. O’Donnell is an active member of the Working Group on Interprofessional Education, a multidisciplinary committee representing the health science schools of the University of Pittsburgh. Her primary research interests include prescription drug abuse, tobacco use, and education. 

Michael A. Zemaitis, PhD, holds a bachelor’s degree in pharmacy and a PhD in pharmacology. He is a professor in the Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences in the University of Pittsburgh School of Pharmacy, and he teaches in the professional and graduate programs in the School of Pharmacy and the School of Dental Medicine. Dr. Zemaitis’s current area of research interest is biochemical pharmacology, with a special interest in drug and metabolite analysis in biological fluids. He actively supports several pharmacy-related policy issues, including the establishment of a prescription drug monitoring program in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania designed to reduce drug diversion and abuse, and “Project Life Line,” a program to have community pharmacies provide the narcotic antidote naloxone to high-risk opiate users to prevent overdose deaths.


Wayne McElhiney, DPh, DDS, is a 1966 graduate of the University of Tennessee College of Pharmacy and a 1974 graduate of the University of Tennessee College of Dentistry. He maintained a private practice for 25 years and is currently director of the Wellness Committee of the Tennessee Dental Association. Dr. McElhiney is a member of the National Association of Addiction Professionals and the National Association of Alcohol & Drug Addiction Counselors, and he serves on the Advisory Council of the University of Utah School on Alcoholism and Other Drug Dependencies. In 2012-2013, he served as a consultant for the American Dental Association Counsel on Dental Practice. He serves as a consultant for the Drug Formulating and Pain Regimen for Alive Hospice in Nashville, Tennessee. Dr. McElhiney is a noted lecturer and published author and is currently involved in teaching the disease concept of addiction at the University of Tennessee College of Dentistry, the University of Tennessee College of Dental Hygiene, and Tennessee State University College of Dental Hygiene. 
  • Courses must be completed within one (1) year of the date of purchase or by the expiration date indicated above, whichever date comes first.
  • You must score 75% or higher on the final exam and complete the course evaluation to pass this course and receive a certificate of completion.
  • Through our review processes, Western Schools ensures that the course content is presented in a balanced, unbiased manner and is free from commercial influence. It is Western Schools’ policy not to accept commercial support. 
  • All persons involved in the planning and development of this course have disclosed no relevant financial relationships or other conflicts of interest related to the course content.
  • There are no prerequisites for this course.