Faculty & Research The Opioid Crisis, Health, Healthcare, and Crime: A Review Of Quasi-Experimental Economic Studies Apr 30, 2022 By Christopher J. RuhmJohanna Catherine MacleanJustine MallattKosali I. Simon The Opioid Crisis, Health, Healthcare, and Crime: A Review Of Quasi-Experimental Economic Studies Opioid use is one of the most substantial and long-lasting public health crises faced by the United States. This crisis, which began by the mid-1990s and continues through the time of writing, causes 136 fatal opioid overdoses each day and costs the U.S. at least $596 billion each year. These numbers, while incredibly large, likely do not capture the full toll of the crisis on American society. In this study, we review quasi-experimental studies that examine the relationship between opioids and health and healthcare, and crime outcomes in the U.S. We focus on the U.S., a country particularly hard hit by the crisis which has adopted a broad array of policies aimed at curbing it. Link to Working Paper Areas of focus Health Policy Christopher J. Ruhm Christopher J. Ruhm is a professor of public policy and economics at the Frank Batten School of Leadership and Public Policy. Ruhm’s recent research has focused on the role of government policies in helping parents with young children balance the competing needs of work and family life, and on examining how various aspects of health are produced – including the growth and sources of drug poisoning deaths in the United States, the rise in obesity and the relationship between macroeconomic conditions and health. Read full bio Johanna Catherine Maclean Justine Mallatt Kosali I. Simon Related Content Christopher J. Ruhm Estimated Prevalence of and Factors Associated With Clinically Significant Anxiety and Depression Among US Adults During the First Year of the COVID-19 Pandemic Research How much did clinically significant anxiety and depression increase among US adults during the first year of the COVID-19 pandemic? In this survey study of more than 1.4 million respondents in the US Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System survey, responses to a screening question calibrated to a 4-item Patient Health Questionnaire score of 6 or greater suggested that aggregate prevalence of clinically significant anxiety and depression increased only modestly overall among US adults in 2020 compared with 2017 to 2019. Has Mortality Risen Disproportionately for the Least Educated? Research Two Batten professors examine whether the least educated population groups experienced the worst mortality trends at the beginning of the 21st century by measuring changes in mortality across education quartiles. We May Not Have Been as Anxious, Depressed in Pandemic's First Year as Once Thought News Findings from the Batten School's Christopher Ruhm and colleagues at Harvard question the accuracy of the CDC’s Household Pulse survey on mental health. How to target opioid funding to states that need it most News According to new research from Batten’s Christopher J. Ruhm, the federal government’s opioid grant funding structure favors the least populous states, which are not always the states with greatest need. In an op-ed for The Hill, Ruhm suggests several ways to improve the targeting of federal grants that aim to assist states with opioid problems.