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Opioid Addiction

New Data: Americans Filling Far Fewer Opioid Prescriptions

Prescription drugs on a shelf
Daylina Miller/WUSF
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New data show that the number of prescriptions for opioid painkillers filled in the U.S. fell dramatically last year. They showed their biggest drop in 25 years.

The decline comes amid increasing legal restrictions and public awareness of the dangers of addiction.

A health data firm released a report Thursday showing a 9 percent average drop nationwide in the number of prescriptions for opioids filled by retail and mail-order pharmacies. All 50 states and the District of Columbia had declines of more than 5 percent.

The U.S. is estimated to consume roughly 30 percent of all opioids used worldwide.