Mississippi cuts opioid prescriptions, increases drug overdoses, increases deaths

JACKSON, Mississippi (WJTV) – The American Medical Association (AMA) released a report Thursday showing a 44.4% decrease in opioid prescribing nationwide over the past decade.

To combat this continuing epidemic, the Mississippi State Medical Association and the AMA are urging policymakers to join physicians in reducing mortality and improving patient outcomes by removing barriers to evidence-based care.

The report shows that overdoses and deaths are on the rise even as doctors have dramatically increased the use of Prescription Drug Monitoring Programs (PDMPs), which are electronic databases that track prescriptions for controlled substances and help identify patients who may receive multiple prescriptions from multiple prescribers. The report shows that doctors and others used state PDMPs more than 910 million times in 2020.

Mississippi continues to see increases in overdoses primarily due to illicit fentanyl, fentanyl analogues, methamphetamine and cocaine, according to the report. Additionally, state public health, media, and other reports compiled by the AMA show that drug overdoses and deaths have worsened in Mississippi and nationwide.

In Mississippi, opioid prescriptions (RX report) fell 44.3% between 2011-2020, including a 4.8% drop from 2019-2020. Along with the sharp decline in opioid prescriptions, new data from the AMA also shows that doctors and other healthcare professionals used the state’s PDMP more than 910,000,000 times in 2020.

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