New research shows that about one-third of doctors who prescribed opioids in the buildup to the opioid overdose epidemic gave no reason for doing so, according to NBC News.
In 29 percent of cases between 2006 and 2015, doctors's opioid prescriptions had no explanation for why they were written, a team from Harvard Medical School and the Rand Corp. reported Monday.
"Whatever the reasons, lack of robust documentation undermines our efforts to understand physician prescribing patterns and curtails our ability to stem overprescribing," said Dr. Tisamarie Sherry, who worked on the study, in a statement.
Federal agencies have said that inappropriate prescribing practices contributed to the crisis that saw 42,000 people die in 2016 alone. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has been encouraging doctors to prescribe opioids only when necessary.