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Charles Williams / Flickr Creative Commons

The number of opioids prescribed quadrupled from 2011 and 2013, and 19% of Americans with mood disorders have used opioids — compared to 5% of the total population, according to a new study in the Journal of the American Board of Family Medicine. 51% of all opioid prescriptions in the U.S. are given to people with anxiety, depression or other similar disorders.

"We're handing this stuff out like candy," Brian Sites, senior author of the study, told STAT. Sites offered STAT a few possible explanations for the statistic:

  1. Past research has shown that people with depression are more likely to have chronic pain that is often treated with opioids.
  2. Doctors could be more likely to prescribe medication when they know the patient already suffers from an emotional disorder.
  3. Opioids may temporarily help depression.

Go deeper

Kendall Baker, author of Sports
2 hours ago - Sports

2021 Tokyo Olympics hang in the balance

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

10 months ago, the Tokyo Olympics were postponed. Now, less than six months ahead of their new start date, the dreaded word is being murmured: "canceled."

Driving the news: The Japanese government has privately concluded that the Games will have to be called off, The Times reports (subscription), citing an unnamed senior government source.

Biden's centrist words, liberal actions

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

President Biden talks like a soothing centrist. He promises to govern like a soothing centrist. But early moves show that he is keeping his promise to advance a liberal agenda.

Why it matters: Never before has a president done more by executive fiat in such a short period of time than Biden. And those specific actions, coupled with a push for a more progressive slate of regulators and advisers, look more like the Biden of the Democratic primary than the unity-and-restraint Biden of the general election.

3 hours ago - Technology

Review of Trump ban marks major turning point for Facebook

Photo Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios. Photo: Saul Loeb/AFP via Getty Images

Facebook's decision to ask its new independent Oversight Board to review the company's indefinite suspension of former President Trump is likely to set a critical precedent for how the social media giant handles political speech from world leaders.

What they're saying: "I very much hope and can expect … that they will uphold our decision," Facebook's VP of global affairs Nick Clegg tells Axios.