Macroeconomic Conditions and Opioid Abuse
We examine how deaths and emergency department (ED) visits related to use of opioid analgesics (opioids) and other drugs vary with macroeconomic conditions. As the county unemployment rate increases by one percentage point, the opioid death rate per 100,000 rises by 0.19 (3.6%) and the opioid overdose ED visit rate per 100,000 increases by 0.95 (7.0%). Macroeconomic shocks also increase the overall drug death rate, but this increase is driven by rising opioid deaths. Our findings hold when performing a state-level analysis, rather than county-level; are primarily driven by adverse events among whites; and are stable across time periods.
We thank seminar participants at Georgia State University and the joint Indiana University-Vanderbilt University-University of Louisville Health Economics Workshop; we also thank Coady Wing and Emily Zarse (MD) for helpful conversations. The views expressed herein are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Bureau of Economic Research.
- The rate of drug overdose deaths involving opioids tripled between 2000 and 2014, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease...
Alex Hollingsworth & Christopher J. Ruhm & Kosali Simon, 2017. "Macroeconomic conditions and opioid abuse," Journal of Health Economics, . citation courtesy of