NEW ORLEANS, Louisiana – Prescription pain-killers are more prevalent than people in Louisiana; according to a new report that shows widespread opioid issues across eight states.
Louisiana has 1.03 pain-killer prescriptions for every resident in the state, ranking sixth in the United States.
The Associated Press report found that eight states together had more prescriptions written for pain-killers than they did residents, with southerners making the bulk of the list.
Among Louisiana is Tennessee, Arkansas, Mississippi, Oklahoma, West Virginia, and Kentucky. All had prescription pain-killer rates higher than the number of residents living in the state.
Medical Director Dr. David Holcombe of the Office of Public Health Region VI in Central Louisiana told WWL-TV New Orleans that the issue was a rapidly-growing problem where big pharmaceutical companies push for more and more prescription pills.
“This has been a disaster almost created and then perpetrated,” he said. “It’s driven by pharmaceutical greed, physicians prescribing and patient demand.”
Holcombe said that the “epidemic” of prescription pain-killers in these states is not exactly an accident, but rather an orchestrated plan.
“We have been building to this,” Holcombe told WWL.
Big pharmaceutical companies not only have great influence over the fast-track pace of prescribing pain-killers, but the industry also has a favorite candidate in the 2016 presidential election.
As far back as March, Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton had already been the biggest benefactor of big pharmaceutical companies, with donations for her candidacy surpassing $500,000 from the industry, according to CNBC.
Louisiana specifically, though, has not been a stranger to vast opioid use.
In the city of New Orleans, heroin laced with a dangerous opioid drug called fentanyl has become the biggest threat with respect to drugs and addiction, according to the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA).
The DEA said fentanyl is 50 to 100 times stronger and more dangerous than morphine, along with being cheaper than heroin.
Over 65 deaths in New Orleans this year have been tied to opioid abuse, according to previous statements by the city’s coroner who said the rise of the drug has been prevalent since 2014.
John Binder is a contributor for Breitbart Texas. Follow him on Twitter at @JxhnBinder.