Sign Up
For the best experience, choose your profession & state.

The Counties With the Highest Opioid Prescription Rates in the U.S.

From 2017 to 2018, the number of American drug overdose deaths decreased by 4%, but it was still four times higher in 2018 in comparison to 1999. And in 2018 alone, close to 70% of the 67,367 deaths from drug overdoses involved opioids. Today, it’s estimated that 128 people die each day from an opioid overdose.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), between 1999 and 2018, almost 450,000 people died from overdoses involving opioids. This guide from CEUfast looks at the highest rates of opioid prescriptions in counties across America.

Here are the 50 counties in the United States with the highest opioid prescription rates per 100,000 people in 2018, according to the CDC:

  1. Norton City, VA: 311.3
  2. Galax City, VA: 301.3
  3. Martinsville City, VA: 293.5
  4. Owsley, KY: 241.8
  5. Hardin, IL: 206.7
  6. Floyd, KY: 205.3
  7. Walker, AL: 204.8
  8. Franklin City, VA: 204.6
  9. Perry, KY: 203.6
  10. Whitley, KY: 199.6
  11. Bell, KY: 197.9
  12. Ware, GA: 194.8
  13. Lexington City, VA: 191.3
  14. Emporia City, VA: 183.4
  15. Pike, KY: 180.7
  16. Covington City, VA: 177.8
  17. Saline, IL: 177.0
  18. Harmon, OK: 174.2
  19. Bacon, GA: 172.7
  20. Clay, KY: 167.3
  21. Colbert, AL: 167.0
  22. Garfield, NE: 165.4
  23. Ben Hill, GA: 162.5
  24. Leslie, KY: 161.8
  25. Crisp, GA: 160.7
  26. Dyer, TN: 160.0
  27. Forrest, MS: 158.5
  28. Haralson, GA: 158.1
  29. Clay, TN: 157.6
  30. Salem City, VA: 156.7
  31. Fulton, KY: 156.0
  32. Greene, AR: 155.7
  33. Coffee, GA: 155.4
  34. Grundy, TN: 155.4
  35. Seminole, GA: 155.3
  36. Franklin, AL: 152.3
  37. Marshall, AL: 151.9
  38. Breathitt, KY: 151.6
  39. McCracken, KY: 149.9
  40. Dunklin, MO: 148.6
  41. Johnson, KY: 148.3
  42. Claiborne, TN: 148.2
  43. Bristol City, TN: 148.2
  44. Marengo, AL: 147.9
  45. Carbon, UT: 147.2
  46. Osborne, KS: 147.1
  47. Stephens, GA: 146.4
  48. Logan, WV: 146.4
  49. Campbell, TN: 145.7
  50. Colonial Heights, VA: 145.5

 

The highest opioid prescription rates were found in the eastern portion of the United States, with only seven states having the top 20 counties with the highest rates (Virginia, Kentucky, Illinois, Alabama, Georgia, Illinois, and Oklahoma). Two states in particular, Virginia and Kentucky, make up a combined 70% of the top 20 counties, with each state having seven on the list. The top three counties are all located in Virginia: Norton City (311.3), Galax City (301.3), and Martinsville City (293.5). Of the 50 counties in America with the highest opioid prescription rates, nine are in Virginia (18%) and 12 are in Kentucky (24%).

Here are some alarming statistics about the opioid crisis from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services:

  • Since 1999, there have been more than 760,000 deaths due to drug overdoses. Two out of three of these drug overdose deaths, on average, involved an opioid.
  • In 2016 alone, the national rate of hospitalizations for opioid-related issues was 297 for every 100,000 people.
  • From July 2016 through September 2017, emergency department visits due to opioid overdoses were up 30% across the United States.
  • Naloxone, a medication made for rapidly reversing opioid overdoses, saw the number of prescriptions double from 2017 to 2018.
  • From 2016 through 2019, $9 billion in grants from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services were given to tribes, states, and local communities to help fight the opioid crisis in America.
  • Today, there are more than 14,000 substance abuse facilities across the United States.

 

Related Nursing CEU Courses: