|Daily Yonder map: Prescription drug deaths 1999-2014 (click on it for a larger version)|
reports for the Yonder. "Central counties of large metropolitan areas (1 million residents or more), on the other hand, saw the death rate climb by less than 3 percent per year on average over the same period."
"An analysis of CDC age-adjusted mortality data shows that, in general terms, the more rural a county, the greater the increase in its prescription drug-overdose death rate from 1999 to 2014," Marema writes. "The exception to the rule is counties on the fringes of the nation’s largest metropolitan counties—metros with 1 million residents or more. There, in the suburbs of large cities, the death-rate didn’t climb as fast compared to the overall trend."
The Department of Health and Human Services says that "prescription medication accounts for about half of all drug deaths in the U.S.," Marema writes. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack, who has been holding town-hall meetings on the rural drug epidemic, said last month at a meeting in Missouri, "From 1993 until 2013, we have seen a 400 percent increase in opioid prescriptions. We now have over 259 million prescriptions being filled on an annual basis. That is one for virtually every adult in the United States of America.”