The Washington Post has created a series of data visualizations showing the number of oxycodone and hydrocodone pills sold in each United States county between 2006 and 2012. The data, which the Post has also published and comes from the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency, consists of data about more than 380 million transactions, including the sale of pills to pharmacies. The visualizations show a belt of counties in West Virginia, Virginia, and Kentucky that were the highest in the nation for both per-capita prescription opioid deaths and for opioid pills distributed per capita. Many of the counties that had more than 15 opioid-related deaths per 100,000 people a year also received more than 100 pills per person each year.
Visualizing the Number of Pain Killers Sold in Each U.S. County
Michael McLaughlin is a research assistant at the Center for Data Innovation. He researches and writes about a variety of issues related to information technology and Internet policy, including digital platforms, e-government, and artificial intelligence. Michael graduated from Wake Forest University, where he majored in Communication with Minors in Politics and International Affairs and Journalism. He received his Master’s in Communication at Stanford University, specializing in Data Journalism.
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