PMP Series: Strategies for Solving the Opioid Epidemic and Treatment of Acute Pain

In both 2021 and 2022, there were more than 100,000 overdose deaths in the United States. In 2020, 75% of the overdose deaths involved opioids, and synthetic opioids (excluding methadone) were responsible for 82% of the opioid deaths. The opioid prescribing rate in the U.S. peaked and has been declining since 2012, but the morphine milligram equivalents (MME) prescribed per person are still approximately three times higher than in 1999. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) states, “The best ways to prevent opioid overdose deaths are to improve opioid prescribing, reduce exposure to opioids, prevent misuse, and treat opioid use disorder.”

In addition to reviewing the CDC data on the opioid crisis nationwide and in Maine, this talk will present Prescription Monitoring Program data from the 16 counties in Maine for the last five years, including data by the prescriber’s profession and the total number of opioid prescriptions as they relate to the population and the number of overdose deaths in each county. The total number of oxycodone and hydrocodone prescriptions for each county will also be presented.

The goal of the seminar is to inform healthcare professionals about the use of opioids for treating acute and chronic pain in Maine and present an alternative for treating pain with Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDs) and acetaminophen using data from the University of New England’s Oral Health Clinic. Dentists at UNE reduced the number of opioid prescriptions by 95% from 2016 to 2021.


  • Examine the current state of the opioid crisis in the United States and Maine.
  • Discuss opioid prescribing patterns in Maine, using Prescription Monitoring Program data for the prescriber’s profession and the total number of opioids prescribed, as they relate to the population and the number of overdose deaths in each county.
  • Discuss the total number of oxycodone and hydrocodone prescriptions dispensed in relation to the population and the number of overdoses in each county in Maine.
  • Describe Chapter 11: Rules Governing the Controlled Substances Prescription Monitoring Program and Prescription of Opioid Medications in the State of Maine.
  • Discuss the Centers for Disease Control Clinical Practice Guidelines for Prescribing Opioids for Pain (2022).
  • Describe the mechanism of action of opioids, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), and acetaminophen.
  • Discuss strategies for treating acute dental pain with non-opioid analgesics.
  • Discuss potential solutions for solving the opioid crisis using data from UNE’s Oral Health Clinic, Maine’s PMP data, and case-based learning.


  • Curt Cyr
    Curt Cyr
    Ph.D., RPh

    Dr. Cyr is a native of Maine and attended the University of Rhode Island, where he completed a Bachelor of Science degree in Pharmacy and Zoology. He pursued further education and earned a master’s degree in Cell Biology and a doctoral degree in Pharmacology from New York University, focusing on the desensitization of Endothelin receptors. Dr. Cyr also completed two National Institute of Drug Abuse Post-doctoral fellowships at NYU and the University of Washington, studying opiate receptors before returning to Maine in 1996.

    Afterward, he spent three years at Maine Medical Center Research Institute as a post-doctoral fellow, conducting research on the signal transduction pathway of Fibroblast Growth Factor receptors. Subsequently, Dr. Cyr served for eight years as the Chair of the Pharmacy Technician program at Southern Maine Community College before accepting the position as the Associate Dean for the College of Pharmacy. In June of 2014, Dr. Cyr transferred to the College of Dental Medicine as a Clinical Professor. He has been a licensed pharmacist since 1988.


Aug 15 2023


12:00 pm - 1:00 pm



More Info

Co-Occurring Collaborative Serving Maine


Co-Occurring Collaborative Serving Maine