Skyrocking rates of antibiotic prescriptions now suggest that as many as four out of five Americans may be getting antibiotics annually, according to a new study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
It's is concerning officials, especially because overuse is one reason antibiotics are losing their punch and making infections harder to treat.
The report released Wednesday gives the first detailed look at usage of these medicines in every state and finds it highest in the South and Appalachia. West Virginia had the highest rates at 1.237 prescriptions per person, followed by Kentucky at 1.232 and Tennessee at 1.199. The lowest rates were found in California (0.6 per person), Oregon (0.595) and Alaska (0.529).