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Opioid prescriptions outnumber patients in some parts of the US

BMJ 2018; 362 doi: (Published 19 July 2018) Cite this as: BMJ 2018;362:k3188
  1. Bob Roehr
  1. Washington DC, USA

Prescribing rates for opioids are up to sevenfold higher in rural areas compared with urban ones in the United States, according to a new analysis of prescribing patterns by congressional district.

Heading the list was Alabama’s 4th district, where doctors wrote 166.69 opioid prescriptions per 100 persons. The largely rural area sprawls across the northern region of the state and is 88% white, compared with 73% white for the state as a whole.

At the bottom of the list were two congressional districts in Brooklyn, New York, where the prescribing rate …

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