This Arizona county had more opioid prescriptions than people
In 2016, Mohave County had more opioid prescriptions than people.
The vast rural county in northwest Arizona dispensed 127.5 opioid prescriptions per 100 residents that year, making it Arizona's most prolific county by that measure, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The CDC data shows that Arizona's rate of 70.2 opioid prescriptions per 100 people is slightly above the U.S. average of 66.5 per 100 people.
While the figures show that pain-pill prescriptions in Arizona dropped nearly 10 percent over the past decade, they have continued to rise in Mohave County and other rural counties such as Cochise and La Paz since 2007. No data was provided for Greenlee County.
Maricopa County's rate was 68.2 opioid prescriptions per 100 people, down nearly 10 percent from one decade ago.
The CDC data, based on a sample of 59,000 pharmacies nationwide, provides only a ratio of total prescriptions per 100 residents. It doesn't show the number of pills prescribed or the number of people with multiple prescriptions.
Still, the data jibes with what Mohave County health professionals and law enforcement see daily with powerful, addicting opiates such as oxycodone and Percocet widely available in the county of 200,000 residents.
"We have known if for quite a few years," Rusty Cooper, deputy chief of the Kingman Police Department, said of the prevalence of opioids in the community.
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