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Opioid prescription rates across the country have been declining since their peak in 2012, according to data collected by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The 2016 national prescription rate was the lowest in a decade at 66.5 per 100 people.

Expand chart
Data: Centers for Disease Control; Map: Lazaro Gamio/Axios

Why it matters: The Trump administration recently unveiled its plan to defeat the opioid crisis — including pursuing the death penalty for certain drug dealers. The Justice Department has joined a lawsuit against drugmakers and distributors that sell or sold prescription opioids, and the big spending bill passed by Congress included a $2.8 billion increase for opioid addiction treatment, prevention and research.

By the numbers
  • The heaviest areas of opioid prescription are in still in the Appalachian region. Over time, higher prescription rates have popped up further south.
  • While overall opioid prescriptions have been falling, the opioid death rate has continued to rise.

The 10 states with the highest opioid prescription rates in 2016 all saw decreases from 2015. Rates shown are per 100 people.

  1. Alabama 121.0
  2. Arkansas 114.6
  3. Tennessee 107.5
  4. Mississippi 105.6
  5. Louisiana 98.1
  6. Oklahoma 97.9
  7. Kentucky 97.2
  8. West Virginia 96
  9. South Carolina 89.4
  10. Michigan 84.9

Go deeper

37 mins ago - Health

Biden says U.S. will have enough vaccines for 300 million adults by end of May

President Biden. Photo: Anna Moneymaker-Pool/Getty Images

President Biden on Tuesday said that ramped-up coronavirus vaccine production will provide enough doses for 300 million Americans by the end May.

Why it matters: That's two months sooner than Biden's previous promise of enough vaccines for all American adults by the end of July.

Updated 2 hours ago - Health

Texas to end all coronavirus restrictions

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott speaking at the White House in December 2020. Photo: Al Drago/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Texas will end its coronavirus restrictions next week with an upcoming executive order, Gov. Greg Abbott (R) announced Tuesday during a press conference in Lubbock.

Why it matters: After Abbott signs the new order, which rescinds previous orders, all businesses can open to 100% capacity and the statewide mask mandate will be over, though large parts of the state will remain under mask local ordinances.

Senate confirms Rhode Island Gov. Gina Raimondo as commerce secretary

Rhode Island Gov. Gina Raimondo (D). Photo: David L. Ryan/The Boston Globe via Getty Images

The Senate voted 84-15 on Tuesday to confirm Rhode Island Gov. Gina Raimondo to lead the Commerce Department.

Why it matters: The agency promotes U.S. industry, oversees the Census Bureau, plays a key role in the government's study of climate change through the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, and evaluates emerging technology through the National Institute of Standards and Technology.