Population per Chronic Pain Dosage Level – By State and Age Group

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By R Carter

About 60% of patrons who visit this site do so using a mobile device. The reporting tool used here does not handle mobile browsers the same as desktops or notepads. So I’ve added this tabular report which provides the same basic information plus some additional details as the map report Average State Population per Opioid Script Written 2012.

This report covers all US States from 2006 – 2012 and provides what would be the average population per script written for age groups 15 – 85 and dosage levels 50-150 MME. 

When the DEA issues press releases about physician over prescribing they always list total number of pills over a period of time, which is grossly misleading. Since most CPP take a variety of daily dosages, often with two medications, a sustained release tablet plus a short acting for breakthrough pain, looking at daily dosages by morphine milligram equivalents provides a more accurate view on how much medication was being prescribed between 2006 and 2012.

When viewed by this more accurate measure, the data as it has been reported, is far less dramatic.

Keep in mind, each cell in this report represents the total population per script, as if all medication was dispensed at that dosage and every person was in that age group. Unfortunately we don’t have information about how much was prescribed at each dosages and for which age groups. If we did, the numbers would be much higher, meaning, fewer people are actually being treated with opioids than these numbers represent.


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