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Expand chart
Adapted from a Journal of the American Medical Association report; Cartogram: Lazaro Gamio/Axios

How we prescribe opioids changed between 2006 and 2017 and varies state by state, according to a new study in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

The bad news: The average duration per prescription and the prescribing rate of long-term opioid prescriptions increased.

  • "Duration of use is the strongest predictor of opioid use disorder and overdose," the study's authors write. Every additional week that someone uses opioids, there's a 20% increased risk of developing an opioid use disorder or having an overdose.

The good news: Between 2006 and 2017, the amount of opioids prescribed per person decreased, as did the prescribing rate for high-dosage opioids, short-term opioid prescriptions, and extended-release and long-acting opioid formulations.

  • High dosages and longer-acting formulations also increase a person's risk of becoming addicted or overdosing.
  • The decline in short-term opioid prescriptions could mean that providers are encouraging other forms of pain management.

Go deeper ... Exclusive: Lawsuit says Johnson & Johnson was opioid "kingpin"

Go deeper

3 hours ago - Health

Food banks feel the strain without holiday volunteers

People wait in line at Food Bank Community Kitchen on Nov. 25 in New York City. Photo: Michael Loccisano/Getty Images for Food Bank For New York City

America's food banks are sounding the alarm during this unprecedented holiday season.

The big picture: Soup kitchens and charities, usually brimming with holiday volunteers, are getting far less help.

5 hours ago - Health

AstraZeneca CEO: "We need to do an additional study" on COVID vaccine

Photo: Pavlo Gonchar/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

AstraZeneca CEO Pascal Soriot said on Thursday the company is likely to start a new global trial to measure how effective its coronavirus vaccine is, Bloomberg reports.

Why it matters: Following Phase 3 trials, Oxford and AstraZeneca said their vaccine was 90% effective in people who got a half dose followed by a full dose, and 62% effective in people who got two full doses.

Updated 7 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Health: Coronavirus cases rose 10% in the week before Thanksgiving.
  2. Politics: Supreme Court backs religious groups on New York coronavirus restrictions.
  3. World: Expert says COVID vaccine likely won't be available in Africa until Q2 of 2021 — Europeans extend lockdowns.
  4. Economy: The winners and losers of the COVID holiday season.
  5. Education: National standardized tests delayed until 2022.