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Wednesday, June 19, 2024
Clinics involved in the research trial saw an 11 percent decrease in opioid prescriptions, while those not participating saw an 8 percent increase.

Clinics involved in the research trial saw an 11 percent decrease in opioid prescriptions, while those not participating saw an 8 percent increase.

Researchers reduce opioid prescriptions by 8 percent at UW Health clinics

Overdose deaths as the result of prescription opioid use rose 600 percent in Wisconsin from 2000 to 2016, according to the Department of Health Services.

However, UW-Madison researchers think they have developed a program to curb overdose-related deaths in the state by laying out guidelines for when and how doctors should prescribe opioids.

“Reducing the overall supply (of opioids) is important from the population health perspective,” Dr. Randall Brown, an associate professor of family medicine, told the Wisconsin State Journal.

The program includes mental health screening to identify and properly treat patients who may be at a higher risk for opioid addiction as a result of conditions such as depression and yearly urine tests. Additionally, the program encourages “treatment agreements” which require the patient to acknowledge risks of opioid prescription and commit to precautionary measures.

The clinics involved in the research trial saw an 11 percent decrease in opioid prescriptions. From an average 87.1 morphine milligram equivalent to to 77.2, prescriptions rose 8 percent at non participating UW-Health clinics.

MME measures the strength of various opioids. The CDC recommends doctors take extra precautions when prescribing over 50 MME.

Recently, the researchers applied to a federal grant to expand the program to 38 clinics around the state with the hope that they can create a nationwide model.

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