The number of prescriptions written in Delaware for opioid pain medications has fallen since the enactment of new prescribing regulations by the Department of State earlier this year, according to the Division of Professional Regulation.

Statistics from the division, which licenses controlled substance prescribers, show a 12 percent drop in opioid prescriptions statewide compared to the first quarter of 2017. The number of Delaware patients being treated with opioid medications has also declined by 8 percent over the same time period, the division reports.

“Limiting the availability of prescribed opioids that end up being diverted, sold and illegally abused is an important part of our fight to stem the tide of opioid addiction in Delaware,” said Gov. John Carney. “Opioid prescription rates remain too high in Delaware, but this is an issue we will continue to address in a comprehensive way.”

The new regulations, which took effect April 1, were designed to help prescribers more closely monitor and control the use of opioids by their patients.

The Department of Health and Social Services also has boosted resources to help individuals struggling with addiction. Educational materials about identifying and fighting addiction can be found at helpisherede.com.

Individuals who are experiencing addiction can also call DHSS’ 24/7 crisis hotline at 800-652-2929 in New Castle County or 800-345-6785 in Kent and Sussex counties.