Providers wrote nearly a quarter of a billion opioid prescriptions in 2013—with wide variation across states. This is enough for every American adult to have their own bottle of pills. Health care providers in the highest prescribing state, Alabama, wrote almost three times as many of these prescriptions per person as those in the lowest prescribing state, Hawaii. Studies suggest that regional variation in use of prescription opioids cannot be explained by the underlying health status of the population.
- The most common drugs involved in prescription opioid overdose deaths include:
- Oxycodone (such as OxyContin®)
- Hydrocodone (such as Vicodin®)