Above average opioid use


Data recently made public by The Washington Post reveals that the amount of prescription opioid pills supplied to Highland County during the country’s opioid epidemic was above average compared to the rest of Ohio and the nation.

The amount and locations of the legal opioids distributed throughout the U.S. responsible for a devastatingly lethal drug epidemic have been made public by The Washington Post.

The Post initially gained access to the information, maintained by the Drug Enforcement Administration, that tracks every single pain pill sold in the United States from manufacturers and distributors to pharmacies as the result of a court order in July 2019. The Post and HD Media, which publishes the Charleston Gazette-Mail in West Virginia, fought a year-long legal battle for access to the database that the drug industry and government sought to keep under wraps.

The prescription opioid epidemic resulted in more than 210,000 overdose deaths during a 14-year timeframe ending in 2019. Though the prescription opioid epidemic has waned, it kick-started an ongoing crisis fueled by heroin and then illegal fentanyl.

The Post’s report specifically focused on oxycodone and hydrocodone pills, which account for three-quarters of all opioid dosages shipped to pharmacies during that time.

From 2006 to 2019, there were 31,301,540 prescription pills supplied to Highland County. That is enough for 52 pills per person per year, a figure above the state and national average.

In 2012, the county saw its highest volume of pills, enough for 62 pills per person.

The Kroger Pharmacy in Hillsboro received the highest number of pills in the county with 4,562,390 passing through the pharmacy from 2006 to 2019. The CVS in Hillsboro received 4,382,960 during the same period. Rite Aid in Hillsboro saw 3,908,200 come through its store during this time.

The top manufacturers of the prescription opioids coming to Highland County from 2006 to 2019 were SpecGx LLC, Actavis, Pharmaceutical Inc, Amneal and Purdue.

The top distributors of the prescription opioids coming to Highland County were McKesson Corporation, Cardinal Health, AmerisourceBergen Drug, Wal-Mart, and Miami-Luken.

In all, more than 145 billion oxycodone and hydrocodone pills were distributed across the country from 2006 to 2019.

Reach John Hackley at 937-402-2571.

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