While no doubt the news that the Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland found that prescription rates for highly addictive opioids have been falling steadily must be wonderful news, it is tempered by the news that the four Appalachian states the bank services still have addiction and prescription rates higher than the national average. The report followed opioid overdose and drug prescription rates in the four states Kentucky, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia, which the regional Fed bank services. While the numbers are still distressing, the trend has followed the rest of the country downward and is only improving. Still, this is bitter hope for those living in the throes of the hardest-hit areas in the US.

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A recent study from the Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland found that opioid prescription rates have fallen steadily in recent years within some of the country’s most drug-ravaged communities. But in West Virginia, Kentucky, Ohio and Pennsylvania, rates are still significantly higher than the national average, as opioid-related deaths continue to climb.

The Cleveland Fed’s report profiled trends in opioid overdoses and drug prescription rates within the four states in which the regional bank operates. The study, authored by senior policy analyst Kyle Fee, found that legal opioid prescription rates have fallen in recent years, both nationally and within the states in question.

In some sense, that finding can be viewed as a positive, especially given the extent of the country’s opioid epidemic – which the White House recently estimated carried an economic cost of more than $500 billion in 2015 alone. Click Here to Continue Reading

Reviewed for Medical & Clinical Accuracy by Dr. Jeffrey Berman, MD

Dr. Jeffrey Berman, MDDr. Jeffrey Berman is a psychiatrist in Teaneck, New Jersey and is affiliated with Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital. He received his medical degree from State University of New York Upstate Medical University and has been in practice for more than 20 years. He also speaks multiple languages, including French and Hebrew.

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