opiate OD dropping by single digits… pts in treatment – DOUBLING !

Opioid prescribing drops largest amount in 25 years


The number of opioid painkillers prescribed last year dropped by the largest rates in 25 years, new data show.

IQVIA Institute for Human Data Science, a health data firm, released a report that showed an 8.9 percent drop on average in the number of prescription opioids, such as OxyContin or Vicodin, that were filled by retail and mail-order pharmacies.

All states and the District of Columbia were evaluated for the study and had declines of more than 5 percent. Eighteen states had declines above 10 percent, including Pennsylvania and West Virginia, two states that are among the top five in the country with the highest rates of drug overdose deaths.

 The prescribing drop was 2 percentage points lower than the drop in 2016 and represented a 7.8 percent decline in new patients receiving prescriptions for opioids.

The data also show that the number of people who were prescribed medication to treat addiction, which helps stave off withdrawal symptoms, rose to 82,000 a month, nearly doubling.

“This suggests that healthcare professionals are prescribing opioids less often for pain treatment, but they are actively prescribing [medication-assisted treatment] to address opioid addiction,” said Murray Aitken, the data firm’s senior vice president.

Prescriptions for opioids rose in the 1990s as doctors provided them to patients who were suffering from pain. As addiction and death from overdoses began to climb, government regulators issued more restrictions and waged public awareness campaigns.

Despite those changes and the reduction in prescriptions, deaths from opioids have continued to rise, partly because people replace prescription painkillers with heroin, a cheaper, more available alternative. Government data show that 80 percent of people who take heroin first abused prescription painkillers. Deaths also have surged because heroin is being mixed with fentanyl, a more potent opioid that drug users often don’t know they are taking.

Overdoses from opioids killed more than 42,000 people in 2016, a fivefold increase from roughly two decades earlier. Government data show that roughly 2 million people in the U.S. are addicted to prescription opioids.

5 Responses

  1. The government jumped on the treat drug abuse train thus creating an “opioid crisis” when it was a herion crisis for many year’s to make money off the rehabs, etc. It all shifted, because the government and state’s wanted to make money plain amd simple. They make a big buck off each drug rehab research it.

  2. Are they mixing dependence on pain medication in with addiction? They take away pain medication from chronic pain patients and replace them with nothing! Why do they think that people are committing suicide? Living with chronic pain without treatment is driving people to commit suicide. Then they blame it on opioid abuse. Open your eyes people! You make laws, rules, guidelines, and don’t even talk to chronic pain patients. Is it because you don’t want to acknowledge that we can take pain medication without being addicted? This whole pain-opioid thing just sucks my energy. Patients shouldn’t have to worry if they can get treatment for a medical condition.

  3. Here what I get out of this,,DOCTORS ARE NOW PRESCRIBING THE MEDICINE OPIATES AT THE LOWEST RATE IN 25 YEARS,, soo don’t blame us CPP,,Stop blaming Doctors,,neither of us are obviously responsible for ANY OF THIS,,,NEVER WERE,,YET,, this article states 42,000 from opiates,,now why is it 25 years ago hell 10 year ago ,,the media would of published the truth,,illegal heroin,fentnly kill 42,000,NOT 1 SINGLE LIEFUL WORD OPIATES,,,furthermore 2016 was the year after those lovely guidelines,,SuicideS up by 6,000 after those b.s. guidelines,,Dont report the truth now do they ever,,why,,,because CORRUPT GOVERNMENTS HAVE NO USE FOR TRUTH!!!!!,,FURTHERMORE,,THAT IS THEE ONLY OPTION DOCTORS WHO IMMORALLY DROPPED THEIR MEDICALLY ILL PATIENT IN PHYSICAL PAIN,,THAT 1 OPTION IS REHAB,,THUS FALSELY TRIUMPING UP ADDICTION NUMBERS,,Again,,SOMEONE REALLY THOUGHT THIS OUT,,CAN U SAY KOLODNY,PROP-AGANDA,,FACT IS,,DENIAL OF ACCESS IS TORTURE,,THE UNITED STATES GOVERNMENT IS UNLAWFULLY TORTUREING THE MEDICALLY ILL,SOME TO DEATH under the color of law,,,which is also illegal,,,maryw

    Legit pts DO NOT run to the nearest corner and find dope alingers, cop heroin. Then walk home and shpot up in their fluffy robe…..we go thru withdrawal, rough as it is. Y’know why???
    Most of us are decent ppl.

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