These California Counties Have More Opioid Prescriptions Than People

America's opioid epidemic is crushing families, destroying lives and completely overwhelming law enforcement personnel. Given the latest figures, it's not difficult to see why.

There are now multiple counties in California where the number of prescriptions for opioid painkillers outnumber people. These include Trinity (1,442.58 prescriptions per 1,000 residents); Lake (1,437.46 prescriptions per 1,000 residents); Shasta (1,385.92 per 1,000 residents); Tuolumne (1,315.18 prescriptions per 1,000 residents); and Del Norte (1,314.56 per 1,000 residents).

Those numbers only represent legitimate prescriptions. They don't even include all the counterfeit drugs sold on the black market every day.

“What you’re seeing in California is what you’re seeing in many parts of the country, including Oregon,” said physician Todd Korthuis. “There are still a lot of rural counties around the U.S. that are awash in prescription opioids.”

A number of bills have been proposed at both the state and local levels to cope with the crisis. While much of it has been centered in the Midwest, rural Appalachia, and parts of New England, the Golden State is in no way immune. There were 1,925 opioid-related deaths in California last year.

Read more about California’s prescription opioid epidemic and see a county-by-county breakdown here.


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Policy

Saturday, September 23, 2017 - 05:56

Last week’s devastating earthquake in Mexico City provides a glimpse into some of the worst case scenarios that could befall California in the event a similarly catastrophic tremor.