Del. Officials: New regulations result in over 10 percent decrease in opioid prescriptions

Delaware officials note a decrease in opioid prescription rates after new regulations were put in place throughout the state. There is a decrease of over 10 percent for opioid prescriptions, in Delaware.

Officials with the Delaware Department of State say on Wednesday, that the number of prescriptions written for opioid  pain medications have fallen by 12 percent, in Delaware. According to the state, The number of Delaware patients being treated with opioid medications has also dropped by eight percent over the same time period. 

In reference to the regulations, Delaware Attorney General Matt Denn says, Although these are early results, they are encouraging. The Secretary of State and the Division of Professional Regulation deserve a lot of credit for putting these new regulations into effect – they placed Delaware in the top tier of states nationally with respect to requiring the responsible prescription of opioids."

In April, new regulations apparently took effect which were designed to help prescribers more closely monitor and control the use of opioids by their patients. Officials report that key elements of the regulations include a first-time opioid prescription not in excess of a one week's supply, a physical exam with discussion of relevant patient history and the risks of opioids, if further prescription is necessary, and a check of the statewide Prescription Monitoring Program (PMP) database.

Director of the state's Division of Public Health, Dr. Kathy Rattay, says, "We are grateful to the Division of Professional Regulation for enacting these new regulations.The bottom line is that precious lives will be saved by fewer people becoming addicted or having access to these dangerous drugs. We must continue our efforts to support safe opioid prescribing while ensuring individuals have access to alternative and more effective approaches to pain management."

Individuals who are suffering from addiction are encouraged to call the Department of Health and Social Services' 24/7 Crisis Hotline at 800-652-2929 (New Castle County) and 800-652-2929 (Kent and Sussex County) to be connected to treatment options. 

Categories: Delaware, Local News