Prescribing drugs of dependence in dentistry: A review of legal and regulatory considerations

M. Johnstone, L. Teoh, A. C.L. Holden

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


The misuse of drugs of dependence is a major public health issue in Australia, and prescribing of these medications by dentists has increased in recent years. While there has been much focus on the appropriate indications and clinical use of these medicines in dental practice, the legal requirements of prescribing are equally important. Dental practitioners need to be aware of their legal obligations, as inappropriate prescription practices may lead to regulatory or criminal prosecution. Although dentists hold registration through the National Scheme␣and there is nationally standardised scheduling of drugs in Australia, the legislation governing drug laws differs for each state and territory, especially when prescribing drugs of dependence. This article summarises the legislation governing the prescription of drugs of dependence in Australia that is relevant to dental practice, providing insights into how dentists might contribute to the appropriate, safe and legal use and management of these medications.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)371-376
Number of pages6
JournalAustralian Dental Journal
Issue number4
Early online date18 Jun 2021
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2021


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