Feb 25, 2019 - Health

The hot spots of the opioid epidemic

Data: JAMA Network report; Chart: Naema Ahmed/Axios
Data: JAMA Network report; Chart: Naema Ahmed/Axios

The opioid epidemic is most deadly and growing fastest in the eastern half of the United States, according to a new study in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

Why it matters: Recognizing how the opioid epidemic presents in each state — which drugs are being used and whether or not the problem is getting worse — is critical to getting the policy response right.

Details: Synthetic opioids, like fentanyl, are far and away the leading contributor to the rising death toll.

  • The places hit hardest by synthetics are not necessarily the same ones hit hardest by prescription opioids in the first wave of the epidemic.

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