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Data: American Medical Association. Get the data; Cartogram: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios

Doctors are increasingly using prescription drug monitoring programs — databases that track patients' drug history — in an effort to cut down on inappropriate opioid prescriptions. This corresponded with a 9% drop in opioid prescriptions between 2016 and 2017, according to new data from the American Medical Association.

What's next: The AMA says policymakers need to focus next on the barriers to treatment that people struggling with opioid addiction still face, including insurance coverage issues.

  • "Treatment is key ... on average, 9 out of 10 patients who want access to medication assisted treatment can't get that medication assisted treatment," said Patrice Harris of the AMA's opioid task force.

Other key stats from the AMA's report:

  • The number of opioid prescriptions decreased by 22% between 2013 and 2017.
  • Prescriptions for naloxone – which is used for opioid overdose reversal — more than doubled in 2017 and are still on the rise in 2018.
  • Over the past year, there's been a 42% increase in the number of providers certified to use buprenorphine to treat opioid use disorders.

Go deeper: The rise of newer, deadlier opioids; More people are blaming the opioid crisis on drug companies

Go deeper

Durbin on Barrett confirmation: "We can’t stop the outcome"

Senate Minority Whip Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) said on ABC's "This Week" that Senate Democrats can “slow” the process of confirming Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett “perhaps a matter of hours, maybe days at the most," but that they "can’t stop the outcome."

Why it matters: Durbin confirmed that Democrats have "no procedural silver bullet" to stop Senate Republicans from confirming Barrett before the election, especially with only two GOP senators — Lisa Murkowski of Alaska and Susan Collins of Maine — voicing their opposition. Instead, Democrats will likely look to retaliate after the election if they win control of the Senate and White House.

The top Republicans who aren't voting for Trump in 2020

Photo: Brendan Smialowski/AFP via Getty Images

Former Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Ridge announced in an op-ed Sunday that he would be voting for Joe Biden.

Why it matters: Ridge, who was also the first secretary of homeland security under George W. Bush, joins other prominent Republicans who have publicly said they will either not vote for Trump's re-election this November or will back Biden.

Former GOP governor of Pennsylvania Tom Ridge endorses Joe Biden

Tom Ridge. Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images

Tom Ridge, the former Republican governor of Pennsylvania, will vote for Joe Biden, he announced in a Philadelphia Inquirer op-ed on Sunday.

Why it matters: Ridge, who also served as the first Secretary of Homeland Security under George W. Bush, said this would be his first time casting a vote for a Democratic candidate for president. He's now the third former Republican governor from a swing state to endorse Biden and reject Trump — joining John Kasich from Ohio and Rick Snyder from Michigan.