The opioid overdose epidemic, which resulted in 48,000 deaths in 2017, isn’t getting better anytime soon, according to recent research published in JAMA.

That’s because interventions that target prescription opioid misuse, including prescription monitoring programs, may only have a small impact on the number of opioid deaths in the future, Boston researchers found.

“Deaths due to opioid overdose have tripled in the last decade,” wrote lead author Jagpreet Chhatwal, PhD, of Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, and colleagues. “Efforts to curb this trend have focused on restricting the prescription opioid supply; however, the near-term effects of such efforts are unknown.”

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