Authored By: Candace Whitman
According to Reuters Health, a recent study shows many doctors have stopped prescribing opioids to patients if it is their first-time taking the drug. This has led to a declined rate of 54 percent for first-time opioid prescriptions between 2012 and 2017 in the U.S.
In an interview with Reuters, lead study author Wenjia Zhu of Harvard Medical School in Boston says, “This study offers some much-needed good news about opioids,” and it shows that providers are responding to the opioid crisis and taking actions to make improvements.
On the other hand, Reuters says that many healthcare providers seem to be avoiding prescribing painkillers entirely when they may be useful.
Nicole Maestas, senior study author and economist and associate professor of healthcare policy at Harvard, said in an interview with Reuters that is unclear whether no opioids at all is the solution, but they are hoping that many providers will move towards “safer prescribing with low doses and short duration.”
For more information about the study, click here to read the article by Reuters Health.