Controlled Substance Prescribing Patterns — Prescription Behavior Surveillance System, Eight States, 2013
Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
In all eight states, opioid analgesics were prescribed approximately twice as often as stimulants or benzodiazepines. Prescribing rates by drug class varied widely by state: twofold for opioids, fourfold for stimulants, almost twofold for benzodiazepines, and eightfold for carisoprodol, a muscle relaxant. Rates for opioids and benzodiazepines were substantially higher for females than for males in all states. In most states, opioid prescribing rates peaked in either the 45–54 years or the 55–64 years age group. Benzodiazepine prescribing rates increased with age. Louisiana ranked first in opioid prescribing, and Delaware and Maine had relatively high rates of use of long-acting (LA) or extended-release (ER) opioids. Delaware and Maine ranked highest in both mean daily opioid dosage and in the percentage of opioid prescriptions written for >100 MMEs per day. The top 1% of prescribers wrote one in four opioid prescriptions in Delaware, compared with one in eight in Maine. For the five states whose PDMPs collected the method of payment, the percentage of controlled substance prescriptions paid for in cash varied almost threefold, and the percentage paid by Medicaid varied sixfold. In West Virginia, for 1 of every 5 days of treatment with an opioid, the patient also was taking a benzodiazepine. Multiple-provider episode rates were highest in Ohio and lowest in Louisiana.