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CDC Publications

Featured Article

Trends and Patterns of Geographic Variation in Opioid Prescribing Practices by States, United States, 2006-2017

A recent study shows an average of 233.7 million opioid prescriptions were filled each year between 2006 and 2017 in the U.S. Despite reductions in four of the six key opioid prescribing measures in the U.S., the duration of prescriptions dispensed continued to increase. Each state’s opioid profile could help state officials modify and expand their opioid misuse prevention and treatment programs through legislation, regulations, enforcement, surveillance and education.

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Journal Articles










2006 – 2010

  • Toblin RL, Paulozzi LJ, Logan JE, Hall AJ, Kaplan JA.  Mental illness and psychotropic drug use among prescription drug overdose deaths: a medical examiner chart review J Clin Psych. 2010;71: 491-496.

Annual Surveillance Report

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Annual Surveillance Report of Drug-Related Risks and Outcomes – United States, 2018 [PDF – 2MB]

  • Summarizes the latest information available for various health outcomes, health behaviors, and prescribing patterns related to the drug problem in the United States. This report covers latest data available on rates of opioid prescribing, substance use disorder, nonfatal hospitalizations and emergency department visits, and overdose deaths. National information, and some state information, is presented to serve as a resource to help address the ongoing national problem of drug abuse, addiction, and overdose.

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Highlights from the Annual Surveillance Report of Drug-Related Risks and Outcomes – United States, 2018 [PDF – 5 MB]

Presentation available for download, and includes highlights of the data, maps, tables, and charts from the second Annual Surveillance Report of Drug-Related Risks and Outcomes – United States.  Citation when using resources from this presentation [Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. 2018 Annual Surveillance Report of Drug-Related Risks and Outcomes — United States. Surveillance Special Report. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Published August 31, 2018. Accessed 08/31/2018 from

NCHS Data Publications

MMWR Articles

MMWR Opioid Reports

MMWR has an opioid series prepared by CDC providing weekly reports, surveillance summaries, and supplements on all public health topics from across the agency. Additional cross-cutting MMWR reports on opioids can be found here.










Guides and Meeting Reports

Prescription Behavior Surveillance System Data Briefs

Increase in overdose deaths involving synthetic opioids other than methadone linked to increase in supply of fentanyl in PBSS states [PDF – 512 KB]

From 2010 to 2015, annual overdose deaths involving opioids in the United States increased by nearly 57%, with a notable rise in deaths attributed to synthetic opioids other than methadone. A new Prescription Behavior Surveillance System (PBSS) Issue Brief compares trends in synthetic opioid overdose deaths in five states. The data show a close association between rising synthetic opioid overdose deaths and the rising availability of illicitly manufactured fentanyl.

Geographic Patterns in Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome and Prescription Opioids in Kentucky [PDF – 809K]

Data released by the Commonwealth of Kentucky examines the relationship between rates of Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome (NAS) in various regions of the state versus risky opioid prescribing behaviors observed in these same regions. In the wake of the ongoing opioid epidemic, NAS has greatly increased nationwide, more than tripling from 2004 to 2013. Findings in Kentucky reveal a close association between NAS and high opioid prescribing rates in the preceding year among women of childbearing age.

Patient Risk Measures for Controlled Substance Prescriptions in Washington, 2013 [PDF – 877K]

An analysis of Washington prescription drug monitoring program (PDMP) data revealed that multiple provider episodes (MPEs) vary by age group and class of prescription drug. Opioids and opioid combinations had the highest number of days of overlapping prescriptions, and eight opioids had a mean daily dosage greater than 120 morphine milligram equivalents (MME). Findings indicate that MPEs, overlapping prescription, and mean daily dosages over 100 MMEs are patient risk factors to look for in PDMP data.

Maine’s PDMP data was analyzed to examine several patient risk measures for prescription drug misuse, abuse and overdose. Patients aged 35-54 had the highest rate of MPEs, and opioids were the drug class most frequently involved with MPEs. However, the rate of MPEs declined from 2010 to 2014, and this coincided with an increase in prescribing of buprenorphine, widely used in treating opioid dependence.