US Opioid Painkiller Prescriptions Fall for First Time Since 1990s

According to a new report from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the number of opioid prescriptions written in the United States decreased for the first time since the beginning of the opioid epidemic in the late-90s.

Between 2012 and 2015, prescriptions for opioid painkillers fell by over 13 percent, from 81.2 per 100 people to 70.6. While the first drop in nearly twenty years is most definitely a positive sign, we’re far from eradicating this devastating crisis.

Even the CDC’s acting director, Dr. Anne Schuchat, warns readers of the data to curb any enthusiasm about this problem being close to solved. Schuchat stressed that painkiller prescription levels continue to be quadruple that of some of our European counterparts.

“It looks a little bit better, but you really have to put that in context,” Schuchat told the Washington Post in an interview. “We’re still seeing too many people get too much for too long.”

Our nation’s opioid addiction problem is rooted in the commercial nature of Big Pharma and the rampant over-prescribing that started in the early-to-mid-1990s. When spoke to Dr. James Feeney, the Hartford,…

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