Understanding the Opioid Crisis with CDC Prescribing Rates

Story Map by Ryan Hanson, Sparks Bureau of Business and Economic Research, University of Memphis

The United States is currently in the midst of an opioid crisis. Between 1999 and 2016, it is estimated that more than 200,000 people died from overdoses related to prescription opioids.  One of the major contributors to this epidemic was a campaign by the pharmaceutical industry to promote long-term opioid use for pain management of chronic, non-cancer-related pain among physicians.  However, as laws and attitudes toward prescription opioids have changed, prescription rates have begun to drop, but not in all communities.

This story map presents data from the CDC on opioid prescribing rates. Click link to view the map.