Why Does Texas Have Some of the Lowest Rates of Opioid-Related Overdose Deaths?
The state of Texas has one of the lowest rates of drug overdose deaths in the country. In 2017 there were 1,458 overdose deaths involving opioids, which is a rate of 5.1 deaths per 100,000 persons. The national rate at that time was 14.6 deaths per 100,000 persons, where fentanyl has been the largest contributor to the number of related deaths. Within the state of Texas, the number of fentanyl-related deaths tripled from 2007 to 2017. The heroin overdose deaths in the state doubled. One contributing factor for the low number of opioid-related deaths is the prescribing rate for opioids in Texas. In 2017, Texas providers wrote 53.1 opioid prescriptions for every 100 persons. This is the lowest rate the state has seen since 2006 when the data was being recorded.
The Texas Prescription Monitoring Program has existed in Texas in some form since 1982 and became an online database in 2012. The program collects and monitors prescription data for all Schedule II, III, IV, and V controlled substances dispensed by a pharmacy in Texas. In 2009 the pill mill law was passed to address the high number of pain management clinics in the state that was prescribing large quantities of opioids. Since 2006 the opioid prescribing rate has been on a steady decline and prescription monitoring programs have reduced the over-prescribing of opioids. When stricter programs are implemented, with requirements requiring doctors and pharmacists to access databases when prescribing, the programs become more effective.
The state of Texas has taken steps to tighten the prescription monitoring program, and pharmacies are required to report all dispensed controlled substances. Prevention and education are also important and does help people stay away from pain medication abuse. Drug prevention and education is often the first line of defense. If you are addicted to opioid drugs in Texas, there are numerous drug treatment resources throughout the state. Both inpatient and outpatient drug treatment programs can help addicts their families through difficult addictions. Finding the right type of treatment is important, and Drug Rehab Services can help you locate a drug rehab program that will meet your treatment needs.