Opioid prescriptions drop, but some U.S. counties prescribe far more than others – CBS News
The United States has seen a decrease in the amount of opioids prescribed in recent years, but usage is still high, and certain counties are dispensing the powerful painkillers at much higher rates than others, according to a new government report.
The data published by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that in 2015, the highest prescribing counties doled out six times more opioids than the counties with the lowest prescription rates.
While previous studies have shown that the Appalachian region has been hit particularly hard by the opioid epidemic, the new report highlights “no part of the country is spared,” acting CDC Director Dr. Anne Schuchat said in a press briefing Thursday. “In every state there are high-prescribing counties.”
Many of the highest-prescribing counties shared a number of characteristics including:
- A greater percentage of non-Hispanic white residents
- A greater prevalence of and
- Micropolitan areas (non-metro small cities and big towns)
- Higher concentration of physicians and dentists
- Higher unemployment
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