LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) — Back in 2016, more than 11 million opioid prescriptions were filled nation wide.

2016 is also the year the CDC released guidelines to help doctors weigh the benefits and risks of prescribing opioids.

New research shows that more doctors are carefully considering the risks of providing opioid prescriptions. It’s part of a recent study done by the University of Michigan Medicine.

“The consistent signal is that there has been a reduction in opioid prescribing following the guild line being above and beyond what you would have expected,” said Research Associate Professor at University of Michigan Medicine, Jason Goldstick.

One of their studies shows opioid prescriptions decreased by nearly ten percent, which is even more than was expected. Another study displayed that non-opioid prescriptions are rising.

“The odds of non-opioid pain medication prescribing were three percent higher the first year than what was expected. In the second year it was 9 percent higher and then the third year it was ten percent higher,” said Goldstick.

Pharmacists at Sparrow Hospital say CDC guidelines and state laws have helped better educate both doctors and patients. 

“Our health system took it upon ourselves to educate our physicians at the time to make sure that everyone is aware,” said Medications Safety Officer for Sparrow Health Systems, Lee King. “All clinicians are aware of the dangers of opioids.”

The hospital says they’ve experienced a decrease in usage but experts say there is a place for opioids to be used safely when taken for a short time and after its prescribed by a doctor. 

“We don’t want our patients to just cold turkey go off of them but we want them to have a conversation with their physician and a plan for what to do in the terms of a next step. Is there a better medication for me for example.”

Medical leaders say while progress is being made the need is still there for more resources to better help transition patients off of opioids and onto other forms of treatment.