Opioid prescriptions fell 20 percent in Wisconsin over the past three years, as doctors curbed painkiller orders amid soaring overdose deaths.
The decrease in opioids dispensed comes as doctors are scrutinizing their role in the nation’s opioid abuse epidemic, sometimes telling patients to use over-the-counter painkillers instead. The state last year required doctors to start checking a database of drugs previously given to patients, to prevent “doctor shopping” for narcotics.
“Wisconsin is committed to combatting the opioid crisis, and our latest report shows that our reforms are working,” Gov. Scott Walker said in a statement. “A 20 percent decrease in opioid prescriptions shows how seriously our prescribers and law enforcement take the opioid epidemic.”