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LA’s Opioid Problem Is Big, But Also Relatively Small. Follow The Map Of Pain Pills

(grumpy-puddin/Flickr Creative Commons)

Over the course of six years, 76 billion opioid pills spread out across America leading to an epidemic of abuse and addiction. A database released last week deepens our understanding of who, how and where those pills went.

The database — obtained from Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) by The Washington Post and the Charleston Gazette-Mail after a year-long legal fight and court order — was requested more than three years ago.

What it reveals is a “roadmap,” of the opioid crisis as it unfolded, said Post investigative reporters Steven Rich and Scott Higham, who worked on the project.

It also gave the DEA a “bird’s eye view” of what was going on. “The database shows what DEA should’ve known and could’ve done and didn’t,” continued Higham.

The depth of the opioid crisis in West Virginia and other areas in Appalachia is well-known. This dataset, however, shows that communities in Nevada, South Carolina and other rural areas across the country have also been hard hit by opioid addiction and abuse, though they’ve received far less media attention. (The Washington Post)

For California, the data confirms what we already knew: the most pills per capita flooded into the state’s northernmost counties, which are also the counties with the state’s highest overdose rates.

Southern California — especially Los Angeles — has largely been spared from the worst of the opioid crisis.

To Read The Rest Of This Article By Dana Amihere on LAist

Published: July 22, 2019

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