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NJDA Guidelines Updates

The NJDA's recommended prescription rules are being updated to reflect recent changes in state law. 
Check back for updates, as laws, effective dates and regulations continue to change.

Please direct questions to the NJDA Department of Governmental and Public Affairs. 

Safe Prescribing Guidelines & Updates to NJ Prescription Rules

ALERT: Emergency Adopted Rules - Prescribing CDS and Management of Acute Pain | Emergency rules limit initial prescription to 5-day supply
     As reported on the NJ State Board of Dentistry website, "On March 1, 2017 the NJ Attorney General and the NJ Board of Dentistry adopted emergency amendments to the rules in N.J.A.C. 13:30-8.18, concerning limitation on prescribing, administering, or dispensing of controlled dangerous substances, with specific limitations for opioid drugs....These amendments are effective immediately and will remain in effect for 60 days."  
     Among other stipulations, the rule prohibits "initial prescription for an opioid drug for treatment of acute pain in a quantity exceeding a five-day supply as determined by the directed dosage and frequency of dosage. The initial prescription shall be for the lowest effective dose of an immediate-release opioid drug."
     The amendments to N.J.A.C. 13:30-8.18 also are being concurrently proposed for readoption in order to permit dentists and the general public to submit comments.  The Attorney General's intent is to make these changes permanent. 

Public comments may be submitted ​by April 19 to:
Jonathan Eisenmenger, Executive Director, New Jersey State Board of Dentistry P.O. Box 45005 Newark, N.J. 07101 OR TO:

Full Text of the Proposed Amendment
NJ State Board of Dentistry Home Page

Contact the NJ Dental Association at 732-821-9400.

On February 15th, Governor Christie signed widely supported bipartisan legislation into law which, among other things, places new requirements and restrictions on prescribers when initially prescribing opioid and other Schedule II drugs.  The law, which goes into effect in 90 days, limits initial opioid prescriptions for acute pain to 5-days and "must be for the lowest effective dose of an immediate-releasing opioid drug”.  The law also requires practitioners with prescribing authority to take one-hour of continuing education “on topics related to prescription opioid drugs” as part of their continuing education requirements for licensure.   

Links to the law and the legislative statement may be found below.

S.3 -

S.3 Statement -

Of significance, according to the new law, prior to prescribing opioids or other Schedule II drugs, for either acute or chronic pain a practitioner must:

      (1) take and document the results of a thorough medical history, including the patient’s experience with non-opioid medication and non-pharmacological pain management approaches and substance abuse history;

      (2) conduct, as appropriate, and document the results of a physical examination;

      (3)  develop a treatment plan, with particular attention focused on determining the cause of the patient’s pain;

      (4) access relevant prescription monitoring information under the Prescription Monitoring Program; and

      (5) limit the supply of any opioid drug prescribed for acute pain to a duration of no more than five days as determined by the directed dosage and frequency of dosage.

Prescribers must also make a notation in the patient’s medical record that there has been a discussion on the risk of developing a physical or psychological dependence on the controlled dangerous substance and alternative treatments that may be available with the patient or the patient’s parents or guardian if under age 18.  

For more information please contact the NJDA offices at 732-821-9400.


ALERT: New Law on Discussing Opioids with Your Patients Effective Immediately
On Monday, February 6th, Governor Christie signed S.2156 into law, which requires all health care professionals with prescribing authority to discuss the addiction potential of opioid drugs that are Schedule II controlled dangerous substances prior to issuing a prescription for the medication to a patient, or the patient’s parent or guardian if not emancipated, who is under 18 years of age.  The law went into effect immediately.  
The law further requires that the prescriber include a note in the patient’s medical record indicating that the discussion took place.  Members are encouraged to use the NJDA model Informed Consent for Opioids as well as refer to the NJDA Guidelines for Opioids.  For further information, please contact the NJDA office at 732-821-9400.

New Jersey Guidelines and Resources

for Safe Prescribing of Opioids and Non-Opiate Alternatives

Opioids Cover

New Prescribing Guidelines for Opiates
Released by State Dental Association

NJDA Leads Conversation on Safe Prescribing

 NORTH BRUNSWICK — Dentists in New Jersey have proven they are committed to preventing the abuse of prescription pain medicine.

In response to the worsening opioid abuse epidemic in New Jersey, the state’s largest dental organization, the New Jersey Dental Association (NJDA), released guidelines to its members on safe prescribing and dosing of opiate medications. The guidelines were released, November 3, 2016, at the Partnership for a Drug-Free New Jersey’s (PDFNJ) Do No Harm Symposium, a continuing education workshop designed to develop solutions to the opiate abuse epidemic by educating prescribers about safer prescribing, the scope of the opiate abuse epidemic in New Jersey, and the link between prescribed pain medicines and heroin abuse.

The NJDA has also developed an informed consent document that provides an opportunity for dialogue between the dentist and patient or the patient’s parent or caregiver about the potential for dependency, misuse and side effects, and the need to properly secure these medicines and dispose of them properly. This effort is the first comprehensive statewide initiative of its kind, in the nation, to address acute dental pain.

“The dental community in New Jersey recognizes they have an opportunity to teach patients about abuse and overdose. The NJDA’s mission, to provide ethical oral healthcare, extends to educating the public and ourselves about this devastating epidemic,” explained Dr. Elisa Velazquez, chair of the NJDA Council on Governmental and Public Affairs and a pediatric dentist in Toms River and Manahawkin.

“Alternatives to opiates for acute pain management, such as the pain experienced after a tooth extraction, are available and should be considered as part of the patient’s treatment plan,” explained Velazquez.

Dr. Mark Vitale, a general dentist in Edison, who is president-elect of the NJDA and a member of the subcommittee that drafted the guidelines explained, “In all cases, the dentist should include the patient in the decision, including a thorough review of their medical history.” Vitale added, “We encourage our dentists to consult with the patient’s physician when possible and to access the NJ Prescription Monitoring Program (NJPMP) as required prior to prescribing opiates.”

“The NJDA and our member dentists realize there is no ‘single face’ of addiction and abuse, and therefore we must take the necessary steps and have the sometimes difficult discussion with each of our patients prior to prescribing,” said Giorgio T. DiVincenzo, president of the NJDA and a periodontist in Jersey City. DiVincenzo pushed for the development of guidelines and communications tools for the NJDA members. “With the rising tide of abuse in NJ and nationwide, we must be part of the solution,” explained DiVincenzo.

“The New Jersey Dental Association in making significant strides in combatting opiate abuse in our state by joining with the Partnership for a Drug-Free New Jersey to advocate for safe prescribing of opiates and non-opiate alternatives,” said Angelo M. Valente, Executive Director of the PDFNJ.  “This effort will lead to the prevention of new cases of opioid addiction, and this effort, which begins at the introduction of a prescribed opiate, is a monumental step, that will save lives.”