ore than two years after the federal government released controversial guidelines for prescribing opioids, a new analysis suggests the effort is having an impact as the number of prescriptions for the addictive painkillers has declined.

Here are some numbers: In January 2012, nearly 6,600 opioid prescriptions were dispensed per 100,000 people, but by December 2017, that fell to 4,240. And from the time the guidelines were issued in March 2016 until last December, there were an estimated 14.2 million fewer prescriptions filled than if previous trends continued. There were nearly 1.3 million fewer high-dose prescriptions written as well.

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