Targeting an Epidemic: Opioid Prescribing Patterns by County in New York State

12/8/2017 Opioid abuse is a public health crisis for the nation and New York State. Between 2009 and 2015, the number of deaths across New York State resulting from prescription opioids alone nearly doubled.

The opioid epidemic is fueled by both lawful and illegally obtained opioids. Nearly 9 million opioid prescriptions were dispensed in New York State in 2015. In that year, prescription opioids factored into approximately half of all drug-related deaths and about two-thirds of all opioid-related deaths. Between 2011 and 2014, approximately 145,000 New Yorkers annually abused or were dependent on opioids.

A new NYSHealth-produced data snapshot examines opioid prescribing trends by county in New York State from 2010 to 2015. New York State is taking numerous steps to combat the opioid crisis. Understanding geographic variation within the State is essential to targeting these interventions appropriately.