Headline of a Wall St Journal piece today. But looking at the charts that accompany the piece, not very much. Average prescribed dose did fall from maybe 60, down to maybe 48 "morphine milligram equivalents" what ever that may be. Prescriptions per 100 patients peaked around 80 and is now down to 70. Damn, 70 out of 100 patients get opioid prescriptions? That's a lot. In my whole life, just once a dentist prescribed percoset after a painful extraction. That was 30 years ago, one prescription, which didn't put a buzz on me as good as a shot of bourbon did. For that matter, aside from childhood earaches I don't remember having to deal with pain, not even the sort of pain that aspirin will deal with. Somehow I find it hard to believe that 70 out of 100 patients are experiencing pain worthy of an opioid prescription.
The Journal piece did not discuss guidelines for prescribing opioids. Surely there are some? Other than recommendations for drug company salesmen?