(TIME) — Doctors are writing half as many new opioid prescriptions as they used to, study says.
A new study provides good news about opioid prescribing patterns. But some doctors haven't gotten the message.
In 2017, the latest year for which the U.S. government has statistics on the trend, more than 47,000 Americans died of opioid overdoses.
One major factor contributing to the rising number of people who get addicted to opioids and die from overdoses is the increasing number of prescriptions written by doctors to treat pain. Overdose deaths related to such prescriptions increased five times from 1999 to 2017.