LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KAIT/KATV) - The state of Arkansas has seen more opioid prescriptions issued in 2018 than actual residents in the state, a new report showed Wednesday.
According to a report from KATV, the Arkansas Prescription Drug Monitoring Program released a report that for every 100 Arkansas residents, there were 102.1 opioid prescriptions written during the same time.
The number was nearly double the national average, at 58.7 prescriptions issued for every 100 people nationwide.
Three of the highest prescribing counties were in Region 8; Poinsett, Stone, and Lawrence, with the highest prescribed opioid in the state being Hydrocodone.
Officials found the state number was slightly lower than previous years, but overdoses were up slightly in the state.
“What we’ve seen from other states is that while opioid prescription dispensing has gone down and prescribing has gone down, there tends to be an increase in the illicit drugs such as Fentanyl and heroin,” Dr. Jamie Turpin, the administrator for the monitoring program, told KATV.
As for overdoses, 426 Arkansas residents died in 2018 with heroin being the drug used during overdoses, KATV reported.