DOVER, Del. — Delaware officials are crediting new regulations enacted earlier this year for a drop in the number of prescriptions being written for dangerously addictive opioid pain medicines.

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 Division of Professional Regulation, which licenses controlled substance prescribers, says the number of opioid prescriptions statewide dropped 12 percent after the regulations were enacted, compared to the first quarter of 2017. The number of Delawareans being treated with opioid medications declined by 8 percent over the same time period.

Under the new rules, first-time opioid prescriptions cannot exceed a one-week supply, and subsequent prescriptions require a physical exam and a check of the statewide Prescription Monitoring Program database.