Study shows number of opioid prescriptions declining

Getty Images

Getty Images

As the number of opioid prescriptions written by doctors is decreasing, the amount of medications handed out to treat pain killer addictions is on the rise.

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Americans are filling far fewer opioid prescriptions than they did in years past, according to a new report - even as the number of Americans dying of opioid overdoses continues to climb.

The IQVIA Institute for Human Data Science published a report Thursday. It was the steepest drop-off in drug prescriptions for the entire year. Prescriptions for high-dose opioids were filled even less frequently, with a 16.1% decline.

It's estimated that three of every four new heroin users started with prescription painkillers, and the number of painkillers prescribed in 2017 dropped by a little more than ten percent.

New Hampshire saw the sharpest decline in the nation, with a 15 percent reduction. It said that Wisconsin has had a 25.7 percent decrease in opioid prescription, the ninth largest decline from2016 to 2017. But according to the National Conference of State Legislatures, there are still 22 states that have enacted zero legislation with any type of limits, guidance or requirements related to opioid prescribing as of this month.

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