TRI-STATE (WFIE) - Fighting opioid addiction remains a high priority for health officials.
The center for disease control, the CDC, just released a new study showing doctors are issuing fewer opioid prescriptions, but are they being reduced fast enough?
The CDC is looking into how much it would help if less people were being prescribed heavy pain killers.
The CDC said they're seeing fewer doctors prescribing opioids, but still, too many people are reported to be using and abusing strong painkillers.
The CDC took a close look at where opioid prescriptions are being filled across the country.
The hardest hit seem to be counties where the population is mostly white, poor, and less educated.
Now the CDC said opioid prescriptions peaked in 2010 and started dropping, but 2015's rate of opioid prescription is said to be 3-times higher than it was in 1999.
So looking at the bigger picture, it doesn't seem to be getting better.
"The level of opioid use that we found in our report was enough for every American to be on an opioid medicine round the clock for three weeks," said Anne Schuchat, MC- CDC Acting Director. "That's too much."
Experts said strong pain killers should be used for people with terminal cancer or other incurable conditions.
And an interesting note, the Fentanyl bill in Kentucky, House Bill 333, just went into effect.
The bill limits the amount of fentanyl a doctor can prescribe to patients, but again, with the exception of certain cases.
Experts recommend those with chronic back pain or arthritis to consider alternative treatment methods like over-the-counter pain medications, exercise, or cognitive therapy.