LOUISVILLE, Ky- A new report published by The Washington Post reveals just how many addictive painkillers are legally distributed to communities across the United States each year.
The data tracked by the Drug Enforcement Administration was previously unreleased to the public and the Washington Post specifically tracked two legal painkillers, Oxycodone and Hydrocodone, between the years 2006 and 2012.
The report shows several eastern Kentucky counties have some of the highest rates of pills per person in the entire country.
Whitely Co. – 187.4 pills per person
Perry Co. – 175 pills per person
Floyd Co. – 168.1 pills per person
Johnson Co. – 152 pills per person
Clinton Co. – 146.5 pills per person
According to the Washington Post report, “The states that received the highest concentration of pills per person per year were:
West Virginia with 66.5
Kentucky with 63.3
South Carolina with 58
Tennessee with 57.7 and Nevada with 54.7.
“It has created a huge level of addiction out there that has devastated our communities,” Kentucky Attorney General Andy Beshear said Wednesday.
“I believe in always being open and transparent and if the DEA had this information every Kentuckian and every American should have too,” Beshear added.
Beshear says with the newly released information his office can refile complaints previously made against drug companies for aggressively distributing millions of painkillers to the commonwealth each year.