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.

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Christopher J. Ruhm