Why Opioids Hit White Areas Harder: Doctors There Prescribe More Readily, Study Finds

February 12, 2019

(Los Angeles Times) – Across California, a blessing has become a curse for patients who dwell in overwhelmingly white communities: their ready access to opioid pain relievers. A new study of prescribing practices across all of California’s 1,760 ZIP codes helps explain why opiates, some of medicine’s most addictive drugs, have wreaked more havoc on white communities than on communities of color. The answer, at least in part, appears to lie in unconscious physician biases about race, ethnicity and pain that more typically leave minority patients underserved and undermedicated, authors of the new study said.

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