Twelve states have more opioid prescriptions than people

Not every state has seen an equal rise in opioid use. In Hawaii, doctors wrote 52 opioid prescriptions for every 100 people in 2012, the least of any state according to a 2014 CDC study. In Alabama, it was almost 143 prescriptions per 100 people, more than anywhere else.

In all, 12 states had more opioid prescriptions than people 2012:

  • Alabama: 142.9 per 100 people
  • Tennessee: 142.8
  • West Virginia: 137.6
  • Kentucky: 128.4
  • Oklahoma: 127.8
  • Mississippi: 120.3
  • Louisiana: 118
  • Arkansas: 115.8
  • Indiana: 109.1
  • Michigan: 107
  • South Carolina: 101.8
  • Ohio: 100.1

The CDC study found no obvious geographic pattern to high levels of opioid prescriptions. If anything, researchers suspect that the variation shows a lack of consensus among doctors about how much pain medication to prescribe. Further, research shows that higher rates of prescription drug use don’t necessarily lead to better health outcomes or patient satisfaction.

“In fact, “the report says, “high rates of use might produce worse outcomes.”

Follow Prescription Advisory

Prescribing or dispensing to an abuser, diverter, misuser or ‘doctor shopper’ puts the provider, their practice and or institution, as well as the patients at high risk.

Although relieving pain and reducing suffering are primary emergency physician responsibilities, there is a concurrent duty to limit the personal and societal harm that can result from prescription drug misuse and abuse.

ACEP Annals of Emergency Medicine 525

Always check the medical record… and a prescription drug monitoring database.

Federation of State Medical Boards

David is Prescription Advisory’s Chief Marketing Officer. Software startups are his passion.

He also serves as the Director of Startup Grind Princeton and a mentor for the Princeton University eLab.

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