Opioid prescriptions have declined by 29 percent since 2011 as the country tries to fight the epidemic of painkiller abuse, according to a new report.
The study from the IQVIA Institute for Human Data Science finds that opioid prescriptions peaked in 2011 after rising throughout the previous decade to an average of 72 pills per adult American. Since then, opioid prescriptions have dropped to 52 pills per adult, still well above the level in the early 2000s.
The decline accelerated in 2017, dropping about 10 percent that year, the study finds. The report said “greater restrictions, patient awareness and responsible treatment decisions reduced usage” of opioids.
However, the study does not track illegal use of opioids like heroin or fentanyl, which can replace the use of prescription opioids.