United States of Analgesia

DrugMonkey has alerted to me an interactive map of the USA which displays rates of prescription drug abuse across all 50 states.

You can select the year up the top, the drug of abuse on the left-hand side, and point the mouse at a particular state to get the details.

It’s part of an investigation by the paper into why so many of these drugs are being used illicitly, and why Nevada, the state in which Las Vegas resides, seems to have one of the highest rates of abuse.

All the drugs are opioids and the maps on the right show the rates of consumption for oxycodone, a drug nicknamed ‘hillbilly heroin’.

You can see how the 2000 map clearly shows the highest rates of consumption in the ‘hillbilly’ areas across the Appalachian Mountains, although by 2006 the West Coast has caught up and most of the rest of the country seem to have got into the painkiller habit.

Link to interactive drug map.
Link to Las Vegas Sun series on prescription drug abuse.

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