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Pain pills in Postindustrial America

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By KIMBERLY PALMIERO || ILLUSTRATION BY OLSON MCINTYRE


Billions of highly addictive prescription pain pills flowed into cities and small towns in the last decade, leading to thousands of unintended overdose deaths.

The deaths have devastated families and led to lawsuits across the nation against drug manufacturers. The Washington Post created a database based on information from the Drug Enforcement Administration tracking oxycodone and hydrocodone pills sold in the United States from 2006 to 2012 that shows how many pills flowed into states and counties.

Their reporting also shows that during that period, some counties had an average up 150 pain pills or more per person per year going into specific areas.

The Post last week additionally published a report showing that 100 billion doses of oxycodone and hydrocodone were shipped in the U.S. from 2006-14; that information will be added to the database.

This map shows how many prescription pain pills, according to the database, were supplied to your state from 2006-12.

Kimberly Palmiero is CEO & Editor-in-Chief of Postindustrial Media. She has more than 20 years of experience as an editor, project manager, and small business owner. She previously served as a managing editor for Trib Total Media in Pittsburgh, and also held editing roles with former Gannett news outlets. She is the immediate past president of the Press Club of Western Pennsylvania. Reach her at kim@postindustrial.com.

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