ALBME

Opioid Prescriptions in Alabama Fall for 8th Consecutive Year

MONTGOMERY - Alabama physicians are taking action to reduce the number and potency of opioid prescriptions and to increase access to medication that rapidly reverses opioid overdoses, according to a new report released Thursday from the American Medical Association.
The report shows:
• Opioid prescriptions in Alabama decreased 41.6 percent from 2012-2021. From 2020-2021, opioid prescriptions in the state declined 1.6 percent, marking the eighth consecutive year the number of opioid prescriptions in Alabama has dropped.
• The dosage strength of opioid prescriptions fell 52.7 percent from 2012-2021 and dropped 6.5 percent between 2020-2021.
• Prescriptions of naloxone to treat patients at risk of an opioid overdose rose 851 percent between 2012-2021 and 35.4 from 2020-2021.
• Physicians and other healthcare professionals accessed the state’s Prescription Drug Monitoring Program more than 5.5 million times in 2021, an increase of three percent from 2020. Healthcare providers who dispense opioids in Alabama must report the information to the Prescription Drug Monitoring Program to help physicians detect the abuse and misuse of prescriptions.
The Medical Association of the State of Alabama was one of the first medical associations in the country to offer a continuing education course to train physicians on safely and effectively prescribing opioids. Since 2009, more than 8,000 prescribers in Alabama have completed the course.
“Alabama physicians are advancing the fight against the opioid crisis by continuing to reduce the number and potency of prescribed opioids in our state, and by furthering our education on opioids,” said Dr. Julia Boothe, President of the Medical Association of the State of Alabama. “While we are making good progress in these areas under a physician’s control, Alabama is in a worsening overdose epidemic due primarily to illicitly manufactured fentanyl, which is found in more than 75 percent of counterfeit pills and other substances. No community is safe from this poison.”

via Medical Association of the State of Alabama