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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

U.S. attorney finalist trashes Labor secretary

Rachael Rollins and Marty Walsh. Photos: Jessica Rinaldi/The Boston Globe via Getty Images (Rollins); Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call Inc. via Getty Images (Walsh)

A finalist for U.S. attorney in Boston is publicly trashing the city's former mayor — Labor Secretary Marty Walsh.

Why it matters: Rachael Rollins’ approach is perpetuating scrutiny of a troubled Cabinet secretary and fellow Democrat — and hints at the independence she may exhibit if tapped for top federal prosecutor for the eastern half of Massachusetts.

Parties pounce on China as midterm issue

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

Democrats and Republicans in purple states are already leaning into U.S. competition with China as a key issue in the fight to control the Senate in 2022.

Why it matters: American voters hold increasingly negative feelings toward the Chinese government, particularly around bilateral economic relations and following the nation’s handling of the COVID-19 outbreak.

33 mins ago - Economy & Business

Scoop: Pandemic's "wake-up call" for restoring industry

Brian Deese. Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

National Economic Council director Brian Deese will label the coronavirus pandemic a "wake-up call" to bring manufacturing jobs back to America in a speech Wednesday unveiling the Biden administration’s industrial policy, Axios has learned.

Why it matters: President Biden’s campaign was predicated on providing well-paying jobs for millions of Americans who've seen the country’s industrial heartland hollowed out by automation and competition for lower-cost labor from other countries.