Top Communities Hit by Opioid Crisis

Top U.S. Communities Hit by Opioid Crisis

According to a recent USA Today article, the opioid epidemic is on-going in the United States and recent litigation has been headline news in recent months. There are over 2,000 cities, towns and counties suing over two dozen drug companies in the federal court systems. The towns are seeking billions of dollars to be paid. The main reasoning behind these suits are because Big Pharma has “allegedly” failed to control the distribution of prescription pain medication and is largely (the most) responsible for our nation’s opioid crisis.

Many of these towns, cities, and communities that have been the most devastated by the opioid epidemic include rural, low income areas of the country. The lack of economic opportunities and drug abuse are a direct correlation. With low economy, there are significantly less options for suitable treatment programs and less resources for addiction. The counties mentioned in the USA Today article have a much higher rate than the U. S. average of 18.2 deaths per 100,000 Americans.

The biggest trend with see with the following communities are the poverty rates. In 42 of the 50 cities listed, the poverty rate exceeds 14.6%. Drug addiction and abuse are also linked with a number of other health problems in America. These other problems included poor access to health care, not being physically active, poor nutrition, and obesity.

Several of the counties listed can also be found on the USA Today articles of worst counties to live in and least healthy, categorized by state (links are on main article).

Almost 70% of all drug overdose cases involved opioid based drugs. The other drugs were benzodiazepines, psychostimulants (meth), antidepressants, and cocaine/crack cocaine.

Click here to see the whole USA Today list:

The study was conducted with the methodology being: comparison of drug-related deaths per 100,000 residents in all the U. S. counties each year from 2013-2017 from the Center of Disease Control and Prevention’s Wonder web application ( including: homicides, suicide, overdose, and undetermined causes) and from the U. S. Census for the years 2013-2017. All of the above data is the most recently released information.

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Medically Reviewed: September 25, 2019

Dr Ashley

Medical Reviewer

Chief Editor


All of the information on this page has been reviewed and verified by a certified addiction professional.

Dr Ashley Murray obtained her MBBCh Cum Laude in 2016. She currently practices in the public domain in South Africa. She has an interest in medical writing and has a keen interest in evidence-based medicine.

All of the information on this page has been reviewed and verified by a certified addiction professional.