A History of Prescribing Opioids
Practitioners are dealing with the consequences of a culture that began over 40 years ago, when prescribers could be sanctioned for perceived under-prescribing.
A 1980 article in the New England Journal of Medicine stated “…despite widespread use of narcotic drugs in hospital patients, the development of addiction is rare in medical patients with no history of addiction.”
Thirty-six years later, in the same publication, this statement was issued through the CDC’s Opioid Prescribing Guideline: “The science of opioids for chronic pain is clear: for the vast majority of patients, the known, serious, and too-often-fatal risks far outweigh the unproven and transient benefits”.
Adults over 50 are now more likely to die from an opioid overdose than a car accident, and for the first time in decades the life-expectancy in the US has dropped, in part attributed to opioid overdoses.
Prescription Rates in Siskiyou County
Due to the concerted efforts of Siskiyou county’s medical community, there is much to celebrate and be optimistic about. Prescription rates, MMEs (morphine milliequivalents), and overlapping opioid/benzodiazepine Rx’s have decreased dramatically in the past five years.
Additionally, the number of prescriptions written for Buprenorphine almost tripled between 2016 and 2019.
There are currently 18 practitioners in the county who are x-waivered – up from one practitioner in 2016.
Overlapping opioid/benzodiazepine prescription rates
Rate of residents on greater than 90 MMEs daily
MMEs per person rate
Annual buprenorphine prescribing rate
Learn more about safe prescribing and tapering, as well as talking to patients about reducing their opioid usage.
Resources & Education
Get familiar with current prescribing guidelines, treating OUD, and offering alternative pain management options for patients.