Substance Use Disorder and Well-Being

NYSDA's Committee on Substance Abuse and Well-Being is here to support and assist you, your family or a colleague who may need help with substance abuse, addiction, and related mental health issues. We are only a confidential phone call away.

1-800-255-2100 ext. 250 or

Substance Use Disorder

(Reviewed April 26, 2024)

NYSDA's Committee on Substance Abuse and Well-Being is comprised of a statewide network of dentist-peers available to assist dentists, their families and dental office staff with substance use disorder, addiction and co-occurring mental health disorders.

If you know of someone who is having a problem with drugs or alcohol, you have an ethical obligation to notify a Committee member or NYSDA. Your interactions with any member on the Committee or with NYSDA are always confidential and non-punitive. Committee members are experienced and understand the devastation of addiction. They know that effective intervention and appropriate treatment can save a career or, even a life.

Practicing dentistry while impaired can result in a charge of unprofessional conduct and puts a dentist's license and privilege to practice at risk. We can help a dentist protect his/her license through the New York State Education Department's Professional Assistance Program (PAP).

Funding through the Dr. Thomas Sullivan Substance Abuse Grant program is available for dentists who may need in-patient treatment but do not have the financial resources to access it. This grant is administered through the New York State Dental Foundation (NYSDF). For more information or to donate, visit the NYSDF website. (Be sure to apply your donation to the Dr. Thomas Sullivan Substance Abuse Grant Program)

If you or a colleague is struggling with substance use or addiction, it is easy to get help. Contact Dr. Bob Herzog, NYSDA Peer Assistance Coordinator at 716-830-3055, or Jacqueline Donnelly at NYSDA, 518-689-2750. Your call is confidential.

Additional Resources:

The New York State Education Department's Professional Assistance Program (PAP) assists professionals who have substance use disorder, but have not harmed patients. Such professionals may voluntarily surrender their licenses while receiving treatment rather than face charges of professional misconduct. All applications to the program are confidential. PAP can be reached by calling 518-485-9380 or

24/7 help with addiction, substance use, and gambling
Call 877-846-7369 | Text HOPENY (467369)

Alcoholics Anonymous


Narcotics Anonymous

NYS Office of Addiction Services & Supports (OASAS) Resources

National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism

Doctor to Doctor: International Doctors in Alcoholics Anonymous

Mental Health Resources

(Reviewed April 26, 2024)

Mental health issues, such as anxiety and depression often go hand in hand with substance use. With heightened levels of stress and financial struggles, members may find themselves overwhelmed. We want you to know that the NYSDA is here to support and assist you, your family or a colleague who may need help. Contact us at 800-255-2100 ext. 250. All calls are confidential.

Mental Health and Wellness Resources:


After a Suicide: A Guide for Dental Workplaces After a suicide "postvention" toolkit, developed in 2023 by the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention and the American Dental Association. This resource reflects learnings in responding to a suicide death for professional dental settings.

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline -- 988 or 1-800-273-8255

The American Dental Association offers resources for mental health:

Wellness Resources (includes Well Being Index)
ADA Accelerator Series, Self Care

National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) Learn about mental illness, warning signs and symptoms. Find a mental health professional by calling 800-950-NAMI or contact their Crisis Text LineText NAMI to 741-741 to connect with a trained crisis counselor to receive free, 24/7 crisis support via text message.

The NYS Office of Mental Health (NYSOMH) offers many resources for those needing assistance:
Mental Health Crisis Prevention
Mental Health and Wellness Information
Find a Mental Health Program

Finding Treatment for Substance Use or Mental Health Problems: SAMHSA Behavioral Health Treatment Services Locator. A confidential and anonymous source of information for persons seeking treatment facilities for substance use/addiction or mental health problems.

CDC Resources
The CDC has provided a list of resources for healthcare personnel coping with stress.

American Psychiatric Association

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services offers coping skills to manage stress burnout.

Bhagwati J. Mistry, DDS, MDS -- Certified Yoga Instructor:  Join Dr. Mistry for Simple Yoga Stretches and Mindfulness Breathing to reduce stress and musculoskeletal problems.


In The News

Distributing fentanyl and xylazine test strips

In an effort to reduce the number of drug overdose deaths, legislation to expand public access to fentanyl and xylazine test strips, was signed into law by Governor Kathy Hochul. Pharmacies and health care providers who can dispense prescription drugs (which includes dentists) can receive and distribute test strips free of charge. The law took effect on December 17, 2023. 

To order test strips and Naloxone (opioid overdose reversal medication):  Office of Addiction Services and Supports (OASAS)

Additional information on Naloxone training to treat and recognize the signs of a drug overdose can be found here: Naloxone Training

Prescribing Opioids

Medication Access and Training Expansion (MATE) Act

New Federal requirement takes effect June 27, 2023

The Medication Access and Training Expansion (MATE) Act, passed by Congress as part of the Omnibus Bill of 2022, mandates most practitioners licensed to prescribe controlled substances, including dentists, complete eight hours of one-time training on safely prescribing controlled substances (Schedules II, III IV, and/or V) in order to receive or renew their registration with the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA).

Learn More

Opioid Antagonist Prescribing Law

Effective June 27, 2022, under certain circumstances, doctors in outpatient settings prescribing an opioid for pain management may also be required to simultaneously prescribe an opioid antagonist to the patient. This new LAW applies to the first opioid prescription to a patient each year when any one of the following conditions are known to exist:

(a) a history of substance use disorder; or

(b) high dose or cumulative prescriptions that result in ninety morphine milligram equivalents or higher per day; or

(c) concurrent use of opioids and benzodiazepine or nonbenzodiazepine sedative hypnotics.

Each provider's first opioid prescription of the year to a patient is subject to this law. It does not matter if the patient already had received another opioid prescription from a different provider earlier in the year. If it is your first opioid prescription to the patient that year and one of the noted conditions exist, you must also prescribe an opioid antagonist.

Information for Healthcare Providers

Seven-Day Limit on Initial Opioid Prescriptions for Acute Pain

Since July 2016, New York State has limited the initial supply of opioids that can be prescribed for acute pain to seven days. Acute pain is defined as pain, whether resulting from disease, accidental or intentional trauma, or other cause, that the practitioner reasonably expects to last only a short period of time. This rule does not include prescribing for chronic pain. Chronic pain is defined as pain being treated as a part of cancer care, hospice or other end-of-life care, or pain being treated as part of palliative care practices.

Upon any subsequent consultations for the same pain, the practitioner may issue, in accordance with existing rules and regulations, any appropriate renewal, refill, or new prescription for an opioid.

The New York State Department of Health provides information about the requirements for opioid prescribing, treatment guidelines and education.

Prescriber Information & Requirements
Educational Resources

CDC Opioid Prescribing Guideline

As of November 2022, the CDC has updated their clinical practice guideline for prescribing opioids for pain.

CDC Opioid Prescribing Guideline