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Opioid prescribing sharply declines in Ohio

The number of opioids prescribed by Ohio providers has declined five years in a row.

The State of Ohio Board of Pharmacy said 2012 and 2017, the total number of opioids dispensed to Ohio patients decreased by 225 million doses or 28.4 percent.

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The new report also found an 88 percent decrease in the amount of people “engaged in the practice of doctor shopping” since 2012.

“Ohio has one of the most comprehensive and aggressive approaches in the country to tackling the opioid epidemic,” stated State of Ohio Board of Pharmacy Executive Director Steven W. Schierholt.

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Schierholt attributed their data collection and sharing system, new prescribing rules and guidelines, shuttered pill mills and aggressive regulatory action against “unscrupulous” prescribers as some of the ways the state has made progress.

Montgomery County opioid prescribing        
 20102011201220132014201520162017
doses dispensed42,175,20541,509,22942,280,39641,929,72340,712,46537,970,08833,995,47030,985,094
doses per patient285.6279.9252.3286.8280.5271272.7260.9
doses per capita78.877.67978.476.17163.557.9

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The data came from a reporting system established in 2006 that collects information on all outpatient prescriptions for controlled substances dispensed by Ohio licensed pharmacies and personally furnished by Ohio prescribers.

The data is also available to prescribers when they treat patients, to pharmacists when presented with prescriptions from patients and to law enforcement officers during active drug-related investigations.

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“It is widely accepted that prescription opioid abuse often progresses to the use of heroin and other illicit drugs. That is why Ohio’s efforts to reduce exposure to prescription opioids are essential to combating this public health crisis,” stated Tracy Plouck, director of the Ohio Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services.

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