Study: Martinsville opioid prescriptions highest in country

FILE - In this Aug. 5, 2010 file photo, a pharmacy tech poses for a picture with hydrocodone bitartrate and acetaminophen tablets, the generic version of Vicodin in Edmond, Okla. A report released Wednesday, May 31, 2017 traces how a short letter in a medical journal in 1980 helped sow the seeds of today's opioid epidemic by helping to convince doctors that these powerful painkillers carried less risk of addiction than they actually do. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki, File)

MARTINSVILLE, Va. (AP) — A new report ranks the city of Martinsville first in the nation in per-capita opioid prescriptions.

WDBJ-TV reports that’s according to a Centers for Disease Control report released last week.

The report analyzed prescriptions from 59,000 pharmacies around the country in 2015.

Opioids come in different strengths, so researchers came up with a standard measure comparing them to morphine.

Nationwide, it found the amount of opioids prescribed was the equivalent of 640 milligrams of morphine per person in 2015.

In Martinsville, that figure was more than 4,000 milligrams, higher than any other town or county for which data was available.

WSLS -TV reports efforts to combat the crisis in Martinsville include a police task force that’s going door to door on the weekends, passing out information about opioid abuse.

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