STAT – From Washington, D.C., head southwest into Virginia for nearly five hours and put yourself due north from Greensboro, N.C. There you will find Martinsville, Va., where more opioids were prescribed per person in 2015 than any other jurisdiction in the United States.
Clinicians in Martinsville, home to fewer than 13,500 people, prescribed almost 4,090 morphine milligram equivalents per person. The national average was 640 milligram equivalents per person.
That contrast underlines the dramatic differences in opioid prescribing across the country as health officials try to tackle a national epidemic. A report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention this week found that while prescribing fell nationwide from 2010 to 2015, places that prescribed the most opioids were still doling out drugs at rates six times higher than the lowest tier of communities.
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