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The hot spots of the opioid epidemic

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.

Go deeper ... The border's deadliest threat: opioids

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