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Opioid Prescribing Plummets; Overdoses Continue to Rise Due to Illicit Drugs

October 5, 2021

The American Medical Association (AMA) recently issued a report that reveals a 44.4% decrease in opioid prescribing across the country during the last 10 years. Despite this sharp decline, the epidemic of overdose deaths continues to rise.
 
Here in Illinois, like most states, the increase in overdoses can be attributed to illicit drugs, such as fentanyl, fentanyl analogs, methamphetamine and cocaine. This uptick continues even as physicians and other authorized users significantly increased the use of Illinois’ Prescription Monitoring Program (PMP).
 
More than 70,000 health professionals have registered with the PMP to help combat the opioid crisis – up from 26,000 in 2014. Queries to the PMP also increased, growing nearly fourfold since 2014 to nearly 8 million.

This important tool has helped track controlled substance prescriptions and identify patients who may be receiving multiple prescriptions from multiple prescribers.
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