CURES and Opioid Pain Management

All dentists who are authorized to prescribe, order, administer, furnish or dispense controlled substances were required to register in the Controlled Substance Utilization Review and Evaluation System (CURES) by July 1, 2016, and must now have updated browsers to access the system. Dispensed controlled substance prescriptions are recorded in CURES, which allows prescribers to look up a patient's controlled substance current usage and past history.

2018 CDA House of Delegates adopts new opioid policy.

Achieve CURES 2.0 compliance. Register now at

CDA hosted a webinar presented by the Department of Justice in 2016 to assist members with and answer their questions about the CURES 2.0 registration process.


CDA continues to promote best practices and compliance with state and federal laws regarding opioid pain management. Utilize this page to access helpful resources below:

CDA Resources
In September 2018, CDA published a special edition of the Update, CDA and Dentistry Working to Reduce Opioid Misuse and Abuse, describing the current environment of opioid misuse and CDA’s leadership on the issue.

CDA Practice Support has published Controlled Substances: Prescribing and Dispensing to help members stay in compliance with all laws and regulations related to controlled-substances prescribing and dispensing, and has developed informed consent forms in English and Spanish.

CDA Presents Courses
CDA has offered courses on the professional, legal and regulatory requirements for pain management and prescribing controlled substances at CDA Presents The Art and Science of Dentistry since September 2015, and continues to offer this course and related courses at its biannual education convention. Learn more about course offerings at CDA Presents.

CDA Journal November 2015 Issue
The November 2015 Journal of the California Dental Association focuses on the science and practice of pain management in dentistry.

Substance Use Disorder Referral Resources

  • Search and Rescue, an online resource from Partnership for Drug-Free Kids that helps prescribers identify at-risk patients, prescribe responsibly and refer patients to evidence-based treatment.
  • Help for substance use disorders can be found by calling the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Helpline at 800.662.HELP (4357)  or on the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) website.

ADA Resources

Dental Board of California

DPA/CCR Statutes and Regulations
To ensure compliance with current California statutes and regulations, always refer to the California Dental Practice Act. Specifically:

Additional Resources

CURES and Opioid News
Dispensing dentists: Warning notice required on opioid prescription labels

A new state law effective Jan. 1, 2019, requires all dispensers of opioids to prominently display a notice on the prescription label or container of any prescription drug containing an opioid. The notice should be displayed by way of a flag or other notification mechanism attached to the container and must state: “Caution: Opioid. Risk of overdose and addiction.” Read more >>


Register for March 14 webinar 'EHRs and the Opioid Crisis'

A monthly webinar series hosted by the California Health Information Partnership & Services Organization continues March 14 with “EHRs and the Opioid Crisis.” The 1.5-hour webinar will summarize the recommendations of a report, “CDC Opioid Guideline: Implementation Guide for Electronic Health Records,” published last November by the Electronic Health Record Association. Read more >>


CDA Journal spotlights opioid misuse

The March issue of the Journal of the California Dental Association discusses opioid misuse and provides important concepts of substance-use disorders, pain management and prescription-medication diversion that dentists should consider. A comprehensive caries management guide for dental professionals to use in clinical settings will be included with the issue. Read more >>


CURES registration requirement also applies to current electronic prescribers

Dentists who prescribe controlled substances electronically or through written prescription must be registered with CURES 2.0, California’s Controlled Substance Utilization Review and Evaluation System. The registration deadline was July 1, 2016. If not in compliance with the registration requirement, prescribers should register now. Read more >>


TDIC's informed consent form helps dentists follow law when prescribing opioids to minors

The Dentists Insurance Company has developed a resource to help prescribers follow a new requirement when prescribing Schedule II drugs to minors. Beginning Jan. 1, 2019, before a prescriber issues the first prescription to a minor for a controlled substance containing an opioid, the prescriber must discuss specific information with the minor or the minor’s parent or guardian. The new form, “Consent to Prescribe an Opioid to a Minor,” covers the required discussion items. Read more >>


New opioid policy furthers CDA's efforts to reduce abuse, misuse

Providing education, promoting evidence-based acute pain management practices and forming partnerships with specialty dental organizations form the basis of the CDA Opioid Policy adopted by the CDA House of Delegates at its annual meeting last November. The new policy solidifies CDA’s role as a leader in state health care policy and creates new opportunities to collaborate with health care colleagues and others to reduce the misuse and abuse of prescription opioids. Read more >>


New serial number required on controlled-substances prescription forms

A new state law requires that tamper-resistant prescription forms for controlled substances have unique serial numbers. These numbers will be linked to corresponding records in California’s prescription-drug monitoring program known as CURES. The requirement is part of Assembly Bill 1753 signed into law last September. New prescription forms should be ordered from a “serial # compliant printer” as indicated on the DOJ’s website. Read more >>


New opioid laws will affect dentistry in 2019 and beyond

Many bills were introduced over the past year to combat the opioid epidemic in California, as CDA previously reported. Here is an overview of CDA-supported legislation in the areas of e-prescribing, informed consent, interstate data sharing and prescription-pad requirements, that Gov. Jerry Brown signed into law in September and how these bills will affect the practice of dentistry. Read more >>


End first exposure: Dentistry's biggest opportunity in the opioid crisis

Sometimes you read a research article and it hits you between the eyes like a sledgehammer. So it was when I read “Prescription Opioids in Adolescence and Future Opioid Misuse” published in the journal Pediatrics in 2015. It made me really reconsider the impact dentists can have on ameliorating the opioid crisis. Read more >>


Opioids in California: What is CDA doing?

CDA began addressing opioids more than three years ago, but the data and countless personal stories tell us that now is a good time to pull together all our resources and efforts and provide our membership with a 360-degree look at the issue in California and CDA’s leadership on it. Read more >>


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Teresa PichayTeresa Pichay  
Practice Analyst, Regulatory Compliance

Mary McCuneMary McCune  
Regulatory Analyst/Advocate, Public Affairs
CURES Regulatory Compliance Alert