The records show extreme disparities between the number of pills distributed per person in each county. In towns and counties inundated with pills, death rates soared. Rural communities in West Virginia, Kentucky and Virginia were some of the hardest hit, with the highest rates of death per capita. While the national death rate for opioids stands at 4.6 deaths per 100,000 residents, in the small rural city of Norton, Va., the death rate was 18 times the national rate. Drug companies sent 306 pain pills per person in Norton, which has a population of 4,000, according to The Post’s analysis.
But the data only tells us one part of the story. We need your help understanding what this information means to you and your community. How has your community been affected by opioids? Do these numbers surprise you, or do they fit within your understanding of how your community has been impacted by the crisis? How have local officials or organizations responded? And how have things changed over time?