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Maine's Opioid Prescribing Rates Decline

PORTLAND, Maine - Opioid prescribing continues to fall in Maine, which has seen one of the highest drops in the country. The Portland Press Heralds reports that Maine has seen a 14.1% decline in 2018 and an overall drop of 41.5% since 2013.

Maine has joined other states that have moved to limit such prescribing amid an epidemic fueling an overdose rate of one death per day in Maine.

North Carolina-based health research company IQVIA says the number of opioid prescriptions written in Maine fell from 1.1 million in 2013 to 646,986 in 2018.

Opioid response director Gordon Smith points to Maine's law approved in 2016 setting prescribing limits and requiring opioid prescribing courses for doctors.

Smith and other experts say expanded access to naloxone likely helped reduce drug overdose deaths in 2018.