Medical conditions involving pain may not vary much from state to state, but the frequency with which painkillers are prescribed does – and widely, a new CDC study finds. Alabama tops the list of painkiller prescriptions, with 143 prescriptions for every 100 people. This startlingly high number is three times the amount in the lowest prescribing state, Hawaii. (See the infographic below for the rates in all states.) The numbers don’t look so encouraging, especially since overdose from prescription drugs continues to be a huge problem in the country. Luckily, though, when prescribing regulations tighten as they have in Florida, the death rate does seem to respond in kind.
In total, the CDC found that in 2012, doctors and other healthcare providers wrote 259 million prescriptions for opioids and other narcotic painkillers, Vicodin, OxyContin, Opana, and methadone. “That’s enough for every American adult to have their own bottle of pills,” said CDC Director Thomas Frie...
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