Death rates from suicide, overdose and drugs have reached all the high hours in the United States, but some states have been hit harder than others, according to a report released on Wednesday by the Commonwealth Fund.
The report analyzes data across all 50 states and Washington, DC, with an in-depth look at 47 factors affecting health outcomes, including insurance coverage, access to physicians, obesity, smoking, even tooth loss, and ultimately assigning states a score. Data is from 2017.
Although rates of so-called death expectations are higher in the country, investigators of the report are particularly hit by regional differences in rates. "When we look at what is happening in the middle -Atlantic state ̵
West Virginia has the highest doses of drug-induced dose, especially through opioid epidemics. Furthermore, those rates increased by 450 percent between 2005 and 2017, according to the report. "The rate of growth in overdose drug deaths in West Virginia is uncertain," Radley told NBC News.
It's not just prescription painkillers and heroin driving death rates. The study of authors also refers to fentanyl and other powerful synthetic opioids that crawl on illicit drugs such as cocaine. Fentanylis is similar to morphine, but 50 to 100 times stronger, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse.
Following West Virginia, the District of Columbia, Kentucky, Delaware and New Hampshire had the next highest drug dosage of death in the report.
Death rates from suicide and alcohol also show regional differences. People die at higher rates by suicide or from alcohol than drugs in Montana, Nebraska, Dakotas, Oregon and Wyoming.
How to stack up
More than death rates, the report looks at 44 other factors
Hawaii, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Washington, Connecticut and Vermont ranked the highest ( Connecticut and Vermont tied for the fifth place in the rankings), while Arkansas, Nevada, Texas, Oklahoma and Mississippi received the lowest ranking.
What separates the highest ranking states from the lowest? Health care coverage
"We really care about access to health care as the foundation of a high-performance health care system," Radley says.
Listed states under the list have the highest rates of residents without a health care coverage.
"Without the ability to go to a doctor when you need it, you're likely to end up getting sick in a way that puts you in a hospital with impending illness like diabetes," Radley added.
In 2017, five in 17 states that have not expanded Medicaid access through Affordable Law Care have the highest rates of unnecessary adult.
"United States decisions about expanding their Medicaid programs have had a tremendous implication for their uninsured rates," authors wrote in their report.
Massachusetts, which has expanded Medicaid access and also provided other assistance to offset health care costs, has the lowest rate of people without insurance in 2017, at 4 percent. Texas, which has refused to expand access to Medicaid, has the highest rate, at 24 percent.
But increase costs also affect people with health care coverage, according to the report.
", and that translates into higher premiums. Higher premiums are passed on to employees," Radley said.
He teaches that in Louisiana, for example, working families spend an average of 10 percent of their income on health care premiums. That's the money spent before the out-of-pocket costs like prescriptions and copays.
Other southern states followed similar trends. The average employee of out-of-pocket health insurance contributions is at least 8 percent of income in Nevada, Arizona, New Mexico, Texas, Oklahoma, Mississippi, Georgia, Florida, North Carolina and Delaware.
that the expansion of Medicaid access has had a positive effect even in the state that is leading the country at overdose doses of drugs: West Virginia. The state expanded Medicaid access in 2014, which opened the way for increased access to substance abuse treatment.
In fact, a study from Johns Hopkins University found treatment rates for opioid abuse that rose to West Virginians who were eligible for Medicaid after the ACA was implemented. In 2016, three-quarters of people with opioid addiction are prescribed drugs used to treat their confidence. That is from less than one-third only before West Virginia expanded Medicaid.
Specific state information is found in the interactive tool of the Commonwealth of Funds.
If you or someone you know is in crisis, call the National Suicide Lifeline Enforcement at 800-273-8255, text HOME at 741741 or visit SpeakingOfSuicide.com/resources for additional resources.
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