In 2016, 11.5 million people in the United States misused prescription opioids, and more than 42,000 people died from an opioid overdose. One factor in the opioid epidemic is the frequency with which providers prescribe opioids over other potential pain management options.

The Medicare opioid prescribing rate (portion of all Medicare prescriptions that are for opioids) varies noticeably across the lower 48 states, potentially reflecting different treatment norms or state policies on opioids. In 2015, the prescribing rate in New York (3.1%) was less than half the rate in Nevada (7.7%). Nationally, the opioid prescribing rate has trended downward since 2013. For example, Nevada’s 2015 rate of 7.7% reflects a 0.4% decrease since 2013, when the rate was 8.1% (not displayed).

Note: Analysis conducted by Dhaval Patel, senior manager at Manatt Health.

Source: Manatt Health analysis of Part D Prescriber Summary Table accessed February 2018, at