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Exploring causes of and responses to the opioid epidemic in New England
The opioid epidemic remains rampant in New England, where, from 2015 through 2017, more than 10,000 people died from opioid overdoses. In 2017, each of the six states experienced an overdose-death rate that was greater than the national average. Beyond causing a high number of deaths, the opioid epidemic is costing New England productive workers. People with the most severe problems stemming from opioid-use disorder tend to be in the 25?44 age group, but no one is immune. The epidemic affects people of every type?all ages and all races, men and women, residents of rural areas and of urban ...
The Effects of Prescription Drug Monitoring Programs on Labor Market Activity and Credit Outcomes
We examine how the availability of prescription opioids affects labor market activity and household economic well-being. While greater access to opioids may lead people to substance use disorders and negative economic consequences, appropriate pain medication may allow some individuals to effectively participate in the labor market. We study prescription drug monitoring programs (PDMPs), which were designed to curb inappropriate opioid prescribing and assess how these policies affected labor force attachment and credit outcomes. We use variation across states in the timing of implementation ...
The Downward Spiral
To analyze the opioid epidemic, we construct a model where individuals, with and without pain, choose whether to misuse opioids knowing the probabilities of addiction and dying. These odds are functions of opioid use. Markov chains are estimated from the US data for the college and non–college educated that summarize the transitions into and out of opioid addiction as well as to a deadly overdose. We construct a structural model that matches the estimated Markov chains. We also examine the epidemic’s drivers and the impact of medical interventions.
Medication-assisted Treatment for Opioid Use Disorder in Rhode Island: Who Gets Treatment, and Does Treatment Improve Health Outcomes?
Since the early 2000s Rhode Island has been among the states hardest hit by the opioid crisis. In response, the state has made it a priority to expand access to medication-assisted treatment (MAT) for opioid use disorder (OUD), which refers to the use of the FDA-approved medications methadone, buprenorphine, and/or naltrexone in conjunction with behavioral therapy. MAT is strongly supported by scientific evidence and endorsed by US public health officials and yet fails to reach many OUD patients. Using administrative data covering medical treatments and selected health outcomes for more than ...
The fiscal impact of the opioid epidemic in the New England states
The rise in the abuse of?and addiction to?opioids and the rapid increase in the number of fatal overdoses in recent years have made the opioid epidemic a priority for local, state, and federal policymakers. Understanding the epidemic?s direct fiscal impact is key to acknowledging its scope and magnitude. While opioid abuse has many direct and indirect fiscal costs, few studies quantify them. This report assembles available data on the impact of opioid epidemic on criminal justice, treatment, and related health expenditures in the New England states. The research finds that state governments ...