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Tuesday - July 11, 2017 3:52 am

Opioids prescribed dropping, but still three times as high as 1999

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Opioids rate dropped 13% between 2006-2015.

A national report indicates the number of opioids prescribed in the U.S. is on the way down.

Research gathered between 2006-2015 by the CDC shows the annual prescribing rate dropped 13 percent.

The rate, however, isn't dropping fast enough.

"Despite significant decreases, the amount of opioids prescribed in 2015 remained approximately three times as high as in 1999 and varied substantially across the country," the CDC report said.

Gundersen Health System's Chris Eberlein believes prescription drug monitoring programs are helping, although, he laments, some national databases aren't as tough as the one in Wisconsin.

"That is the one advantage the one Wisconsin is in," Eberlein said. "We can see the surrounding states, which is really important.

"If you weren't able to see Minnesota and Iowa, you'd be missing a big part of the picture."

Wisconsin's numbers will continue to drop thanks to the Wisconsin prescription drug monitoring system.

"(The 13 percent) was before the providers had to check the database and mandatory education came out," he said. "This next year, you're really going to see, probably, a much bigger reduction."


Drew Kelly

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