© 2024 WOSU Public Media
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Opioid Prescriptions In Ohio Continue To Decline

OxyContin pills are arranged for a photo at a pharmacy in Montpelier, Vermont.
Toby Talbot

As the number of opioid-related deaths in Ohio remains high, the number of prescriptions dropped for the fourth straight year.  

The State Board of Pharmacy reports that between 2012 and 2016, the total number of opioids prescribed to Ohio patients dropped by 162 million doses. That's about a 20 percent decline.

At its peak, that number reached 793 million doses. The report also found a 78 percent decrease since 2012 in the number of people engaged in the practice of doctor-shopping, meaning going to multiple doctors in order to receive additional prescriptions.

In 2014, however, Ohio had the highest number of deaths from opiate overdoses in the country, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation.

State mental health official Tracy Plouck says Ohio has one of the most comprehensive approaches to address the opioid prescription crisis.

The State Board of Pharmacy began in 2006 to collect information on all prescriptions for controlled substances that pharmacies dispense.

Debbie Holmes has worked at WOSU News since 2009. She has hosted All Things Considered, since May 2021. Prior to that she was the host of Morning Edition and a reporter.