Report: Doctors are prescribing fewer high-dose opioid prescriptions

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PRESQUE ISLE, Maine (WAGM) - Doctors are prescribing fewer high-dose opioid prescriptions in Maine according a recent report.

As of 2015, high dose prescription of opioids has decreased in the state by 58%.

Dr. Jay Reynolds of Northern Light Health in Presque Isle says he thinks there are two reasons for the decrease.

“One, we in the medical profession began to realize that there were a lot of patients taking opioids for chronic pain,” Reynolds explained. “A lot of patients taking really pretty big doses for their chronic pain and that in many instances this was doing more harm than good. That along with a law that came into effect here in Maine in 2016 which severely limited the dosage that can be prescribed, the dosage of opioids which can be prescribed with chronic pain. I think those two things together along with more education for providers over the possible adverse effects of opioids have led to the market decrease we've seen here in Maine and elsewhere."

In 2018 another law was passed as well to limit the dosage and duration of opioid prescriptions.