|Click on maps for a slightly larger version; MME is morphine milligram equivalents.|
The findings are based on where a prescription was dispensed, not the residence of the patient. CDC said rates were higher in "micropolitan" counties, those with cities of 10,000 to 50,000 people: "Reasons for higher opioid use in micropolitan counties might include less access to quality health care and other treatments for pain, such as physical therapy. In addition, persons in rural areas might travel to micropolitan areas, which often serve as an anchor community for a much larger rural region, to receive medical care and pick up medications."
Healy notes, "Florida, Ohio and Kentucky — all states that cracked down on high-prescribing doctors and clinics between 2010 and 2012 — saw opioid prescribing fall in 80%, 85% and 62% of their counties, respectively. Given that rates of opioid prescribing are closely linked to addiction and overdoses, the CDC said that counties and states can use its detailed breakout of prescribing trends to increase the availability of addiction treatment."
|Charts from CDC report; click on image for a larger version|