There are many reasons for the prescription opioid crisis. Some of them are false education and promotion from drug companies, reckless practices by many doctors, shockingly low availability and affordability of treatment programs for substance abuse.
Its true that the number of prescriptions for opioid is trending down but, it is still quite higher than it was at beginning of the century. That is why the tactics of prescribing more medication than is needed is so far removed from the intention of massive efforts in order to regulate and reduce the amount of prescription opioids in circulation.
New York State, has its I Stop Program, which requires most physicians to check if a patient is receiving controlled substances from other physicians, before they prescribe additional medicines. Efforts are also being made to educate doctors about opioid prescribing, both from state health departments and from the Centres for Disease Control (CDC).
One good news in the battle against prescription opioid abuse is that when a doctor prescribes controlled substances, the prescription might now receive more scrutiny. California, for example, decided to track deaths due to overdose and then send letters to some of the doctors who had prescribed opioids to those deceased patients within the previous year.