The Washington Health Alliance recently released a report documenting that, on average, more than one in every 12 adults in Washington State covered by commercial insurance received at least one opioid prescription last year.
"With this analysis, the Alliance offers a unique perspective on opioid use in our state," Alliance Executive Director Nancy A. Giunto said. "We believe that this information will help inform the ongoing conversation about opioid prescribing in Washington. More importantly, we hope that the data will lead to further action to address this tragic problem."
Officials from the state acknowledge opioid addiction is a problem in the state.
"Opioid addiction is taking a terrible toll on communities, people and families across our state," Gov. Jay Inslee said. "While the state has been a leader in tackling this epidemic, 600 people still die every year in Washington State from opioid overdoses. The Washington Health Alliance's report highlights the need for us to do even more to reach out to and educate doctors and to provide treatment services to patients in pain or who may be addicted to painkillers. My administration will use this data to inform action steps that I intend to announce soon to make improvements to reduce opioid use in our state."
The Alliance report also highlighted the variances in prescribing patterns depending on where someone lives, age and gender.