ADEA Washington Update

New Map Shows Opioid Prescribing Rates by Congressional District

(House, Opioid Abuse, Prescription Drug Abuse, Public Health) Permanent link   All Posts

A new report published in the American Journal of Public Health provides an interactive map of opioid prescribing rates by congressional district. The highest rate of prescribing was in the fourth congressional district of Alabama, with 166.69 prescriptions per 100 people—meaning there were more opioid prescriptions than individuals in the district. The 10 congressional districts with the highest rates were in Southeastern and South-Central states, including Alabama, Kentucky, Tennessee, Mississippi, Arkansas, Virginia and Oklahoma.

The districts with the lowest rates were in urban centers such as New York, San Francisco and Boston. Addressing prescribing is important, but other elements also fuel the epidemic. For example, with the emergence of fentanyl the opioid supply is more dangerous than ever. Still, prescribing is the one facet over which health providers have most control. Policies such as educating physicians, monitoring patients who receive opioid prescriptions, tapering patients from high doses to low doses, and/or identifying patients with an opioid addiction and connecting them to treatment help enforce responsible prescribing practices. Policies like these have already helped curtail opioid prescribing rates.

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