Parts of the Sum

What’s thought of as “the opioid crisis” is actually several simultaneous—and sometimes overlapping—epidemics. 
A new Rural Sociology study of death certificates found that different drugs caused overdoses in different regions:

  • Rural, southern states: prescription drugs
  • Western and midwestern states: heroin
  • Northeastern US: synthetic opioids (fentanyl)
  • Midsize cities in Kentucky, Ohio, and West Virginia where crisis started: multiple substances

The new data may help policymakers strategize specific solutions. “There’s no single policy response that’s going to address all of these epidemics,” says co-author David Peters. “There needs to be multiple sets of policies to address these distinct challenges.” 
Iowa State University (news release)

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