Excerpt from: "State Policies Regulating the Practice of Pain Management: Statutes, Rules, and Guidelines That Shape Pain Care", American Academy of Pain Management - August, 2016
( http://blog.aapainmanage.org/state-policies-regulating-practice-pain-management/ )
"Over the past 2 decades, pain management in the United States has
increasingly come to rely on opioid analgesics as a primary treatment.
As a result, there has been a sharp increase in opioid prescribing, with
opioid analgesic prescriptions, by weight, quadrupling since 1999.
Concomitantly, there has been a dramatic in- crease in overdose deaths
involving prescription opioids, with those rates also nearly quadrupling
between 1999 and 2008. Although virtually nothing more is known about
the circumstances of these overdoses, numerous agencies led by the US
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have called for states to
establish more stringent policies with respect to opioid prescribing.
The inherent message is: Decreased prescribing is a principal way to
achieve fewer overdose deaths."
See link: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1932227516000112