Prescription Drug Monitoring Programs, Opioid Abuse, and Crime

70 Pages Posted: 17 Sep 2018 Last revised: 30 Mar 2023

See all articles by Dhaval Dave

Dhaval Dave

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) - NY Office; Bentley University - Department of Economics

Monica Deza

CUNY Hunter College

Brady Horn

University of New Mexico - Department of Economics

Date Written: August 2018

Abstract

We study the spillover effects of prescription drug monitoring programs (PDMPs) on crime, and in the process inform how policies that restrict access to Rx opioids per se within the healthcare system would impact broader non-health domains. In response to the substantial increase in opioid use and misuse in the United States, PDMPs have been implemented in virtually all states to collect, monitor, and analyze prescription opioid data with the goal of preventing misuse and the diversion of controlled substances. Using information on offenses known to law enforcement and arrests from the Uniform Crime Reports (UCR), combined with a difference-in-differences empirical strategy, we find that PDMPs reduced overall crime by 5%. These reductions in crime are associated with both violent and property crimes. This decrease in crime is also reflected by a decrease in crime-related arrests as well as drug-related arrests. Overall, these results provide additional evidence that PDMPs are an effective social policy tool to mitigate some of the negative consequences of opioid misuse, and more broadly indicate that opioid policies can have important spillover effects into other non-health related domains such as crime.

Suggested Citation

Dave, Dhaval and Dave, Dhaval and Deza, Monica and Horn, Brady, Prescription Drug Monitoring Programs, Opioid Abuse, and Crime (August 2018). NBER Working Paper No. w24975, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3244289

Dhaval Dave (Contact Author)

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) - NY Office

365 Fifth Avenue, 5th Floor
New York, NY 10016-4309
United States

Bentley University - Department of Economics ( email )

175 Forest Street
Waltham, MA 02452-4705
United States

Monica Deza

CUNY Hunter College ( email )

10065
United States

Brady Horn

University of New Mexico - Department of Economics ( email )

1915 Roma NE/Economics Building
Albuquerque, NM 87131
United States

Do you have a job opening that you would like to promote on SSRN?

Paper statistics

Downloads
33
Abstract Views
314
PlumX Metrics