|West Virginians are using a lot of antibiotics, among the highest use in the USA, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Since 1999, the amount of antibiotics prescribed nationwide has dropped, but certain states are not following that trend, most of them in the south.|
West Virginia is among five states with the most antibiotic use nationwide.
Residents of West Virginia and Kentucky took about twice as many antibiotics per capita as people living in Alaska and Hawaii.
The CDC says as a result of the high antibiotic use, common infections are becoming more difficult to treat with currently available antibiotics.
Forbes magazine says West Virginia is the nation's most medicated state.
In a Forbes study, the average West Virginian fills about 18.4 prescriptions each year, compared to the national average of 11.6.
Drugs are big business in the USA.
Spending on prescription drugs has multiplied nearly six times in less than 20 years, from about $40 billion in 1990 to about $234 billion in 2008, according to a Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation study.
West Virginians are generally older and less healthy than people in other states, according to the reports.
The state has some of the highest rates for heart trouble, diabetes, arthritis and a population that smokes and is obese or overweight.