* Keep in mind that we’re talking about prescription drugs here…
Madison and St. Clair County residents are buying opioid prescriptions at a rate that soars above the national average, according to new data from federal agencies.
In 2014, there were 14,367,940 oxycodone and hydrocodone pills sold in Madison County, and 9,031,240 sold in St. Clair County. That’s the most recent year that statistics were available from the federal Drug Enforcement Administration diversion program, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.
That’s approximately 34 pills per St. Clair County resident, and 54 pills per Madison County resident.
By comparison, the statewide average per Illinois county is 153,841 pills a year, and the national average is 182,742 pills. That translates to 1.22 pills per Illinois resident or 1.73 pills per U.S. resident — a fraction of the ratio in Madison and St. Clair County. […]
Gibbons said according to the statistics his office has compiled, only about nine pills out of every 30 prescribed are used for legitimate medical purposes. The other 21 pills end up being sold, diverted or are otherwise feeding addictions, he said.
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