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Doctors are being more careful on opioid prescriptions

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.