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CDC: Painkiller prescription rates vary widely among states

USA Today, July 2, 2014

U.S. health care providers wrote 259 million prescriptions for opioid painkillers in 2012, enough to give a bottle of the pills to every adult in the country. But your chances of ending up with those pills – and the risks that come with them – depend a lot on where you live, says a new report from the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The report, published Tuesday, shows prescribing rates vary widely by state for drugs best known by brand names such as Vicodin, Percocet and OxyContin. The highest rates are in the Southeast, led by Alabama. Providers in that state wrote 143 prescriptions for every 100 residents, while providers in Hawaii, the state with the lowest rate, wrote 52 for every 100 people, nearly three times fewer.