Opioid Prescriptions In The United States Are Down 11 Percent

Julia Cohen | Reporter

Opioid prescriptions decreased 11 percent in the U.S. from 2016 to 2017, according to a Tuesday report from health care consulting firm Avalere Health.

The largest decrease in opioid prescriptions came from Maine, where prescriptions decreased 25 percent from 2016 to 2017, according to the study.

“Limiting the supply of opioids, such as through fill limits, is gaining traction as part of a broader set of strategies being tested by states as they continue to confront the opioid crisis,” Kelly Brantley, vice president at Avalere, said in a press release accompanying the study. (RELATED: The Opioid Crisis Is Causing A Massive Spike In The Need For Foster Care)

Every state had a decrease in opioid prescriptions but Idaho, which had a 60 percent increase in prescriptions from 2016 to 2017. Oxycodone prescriptions alone almost tripled in the state over that time period.

The study did not suggest why Idaho had such a stark increase in prescriptions.

Over 63,000 Americans died from opioid overdoses in 2016 alone, according to March data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Official opioid death numbers for 2017 have not yet been released by the CDC.

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