A study of opioid prescribing in each U.S. congressional district finds the highest rates are in the Southeast, Appalachia and the rural West, HealthDay reports.
The highest opioid prescribing rate was in Alabama’s 4th congressional district (166 prescriptions per 100 people), followed by districts in Kentucky, Tennessee, Mississippi, Arkansas, Virginia and Oklahoma, the researchers report in the American Journal of Public Health.
The lowest rates were in congressional districts near cities, including New York, Boston, Atlanta, Los Angeles, San Francisco and Washington, D.C.
“Because a congressional district has a named elected representative, unlike say a county, it brings a certain degree of political accountability when it comes to discussing the opioid epidemic,” said researcher S.V. Subramanian, a professor of population health and geography at Harvard.
Search and Rescue: Tools and Resources to Help Navigate the Opioid Crisis
Currently, 174 people die every day in the U.S. from an accidental drug overdose. Our nation is suffering from a public health crisis and prescribers can be part of the solution. Search and Rescue is a prescriber education campaign operating on a grant from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) with the sole purpose of providing healthcare professionals with the tools and resources they need to help patients with prescription drug misuse, abuse, and addiction.