Tracking Painkiller Sales

By Erika Edwards

Published 07/01 2014 03:37PM

Updated 07/01 2014 03:41PM

(NBC News)  Treatment of severe pain may not depend on how badly you feel, but where you live.

A new report from the Centers for Disease Control finds prescription rates for opioid painkillers like Oxycodone and Hydrocodone vary widely from state to state.

Most states with the highest prescription rates are in the South, with Alabama topping the list. 

Experts say it's not that people living in southern states are in more pain than others. The South has the highest rates of antibiotic prescriptions as well.

"Clearly there's a disagreement or a lack of consensus among providers across the country as to when to prescribe this type of drug," says the CDC's Dr. Len Paulozzi.

The problem is there is also a link between the number of prescriptions written and overdoses.

Florida is touted as a success story, slashing the number of overdose deaths in half within two years of legislative action against pill mills. The state regulated pain clinics and stopped doctors from dispensing prescription painkillers from their offices.

Copyright 2015 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Featured Coupon


Featured Business