Macroeconomic Conditions and Opioid Abuse Dec 01, 2017 By Christopher J. RuhmAlex HollingsworthKosali Simon 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. Journal of Health Economics Areas of focus Economics Christopher J. Ruhm Christopher J. Ruhm (@christopherruhm) is a Professor of Public Policy & Economics at the University of Virginia. Read full bio Alex Hollingsworth Kosali Simon Related Content Christopher J. Ruhm Oklahoma Wanted $17 Billion To Fight Its Opioid Crisis: What's The Real Cost? Research The state's plan — and the basis of that $17 billion ask — was looking at abatement for the next three decades. That 30-year plan was authored by Christopher Ruhm, a professor of public policy and economics at the University of Virginia. He says you can easily get into the billions when you consider the costs of dealing with this epidemic in the long term. Cognitive Performance and Labour Market Outcomes Research We use the U.S. National Longitudinal Survey of Youth 1979 and other sources to examine how cognitive performance near the end of secondary schooling relates to labour market outcomes through age fifty. Our preferred estimates control for individual and family backgrounds, non-cognitive attributes, and survey years. New Research: Non-Opioid Drug Death Rates Are Also on the Rise News The number of Americans dying from drug overdoses has risen rapidly in the last decade, with opioids viewed as the primary culprit. However, recent research suggests that opioids are not the only drug involved. According to Batten professor of economics, Christopher J. Ruhm, half of the overdose deaths have involved polydrug use and deaths involving nonopioid drugs are rising almost as fast as those involving opioids.