Opioid prescriptions drop in Wisconsin, overdose deaths rise

MADISON — State records show that opioid overdose deaths continue to rise in Wisconsin despite fewer opioids being prescribed.

Wisconsin's Prescription Drug Monitoring Program says the state saw 17 million fewer opioid prescriptions from April to June. The Wisconsin Department of Safety and Professional Services says that's a 12 percent decrease from the same time period in 2016.

Wisconsin Public Radio reports that the rate of opioid deaths in the state has nearly doubled in the past decade.

Doctors on Gov. Scott Walker's Task Force on Opioid Abuse say they're educating fellow members about alternative pain medications and proper opioid use.

The state medical examining board has issued prescribing guidelines, including requiring doctors to check prescription databases when prescribing opioids in order to prevent patients from getting multiple prescriptions from different doctors.