Drugmakers fought state opioid limits amid crisis

Jennifer Weiss-Burke, executive director of a youth recovery center in Albuquerque, N.M., speaks about her son on Aug. 9, 2016. She says Cameron's descent into drug addiction started with a painkiller prescription from his doctor and ended with a fatal heroin overdose nearly three years later. (AP Photo/Mary Hudetz)

Prescriptions: By the Numbers

A state-by-state breakdown of the number of opioid prescriptions issued from 2013-2015, as well as the rate of 2015 prescriptions per person in each state. Alabama ranks No. 1 for number of prescriptions per captia, followed by Tennessee at No. 2 and Georgia at No. 22.2013 2014 2015 2015 per capitaAlabama6,814,3056,393,7915,840,7541.20Tennessee8,525,0178,239,1107,800,9471.18Georgia8,643,8698,305,9297,880,5240.77U.S.251,814,805244,462,567227,780,9150.71Source: IMS Health

Lobbying in the South

The number of registered lobbyists employed by members of the Pain Care Forum for each year, 2012-2015. 2012 2013 2014 2015 National rankTennessee 22 21 23 21 15Alabama 23 20 26 26 33Georgia 46 46 52 47 36Source: National Institute on Money in State Politics

The makers of prescription painkillers have adopted a 50-state strategy that includes hundreds of lobbyists and millions in campaign contributions to help kill or weaken measures aimed at stemming the tide of prescription opioids, the drugs at the heart of a crisis that has cost 165,000 Americans their lives and pushed countless more to crippling addiction.