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Macroeconomic Conditions and Opioid Abuse

Alex Hollingsworth, Christopher Ruhm () and Kosali Simon ()

No 23192, NBER Working Papers from National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc

Abstract: 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.

JEL-codes: I1 I12 I15 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-hea
Date: 2017-02
Note: HC HE LS PE
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Published as Alex Hollingsworth & Christopher J. Ruhm & Kosali Simon, 2017. "Macroeconomic conditions and opioid abuse," Journal of Health Economics, .

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