The Hazards of Unwinding the Prescription Opioid Epidemic: Implications for Child Abuse and Neglect
72 Pages Posted: 13 May 2020
Date Written: April 21, 2020
We examine how two interventions designed to curtail prescription opioid misuse, the reformulation of OxyContin and the implementation of must‐access prescription drug monitoring programs (PDMPs), affected child abuse and neglect. Our results suggest that counties with greater initial rates of prescription opioid usage experienced relatively larger increases in substantiated child abuse and neglect subsequent to OxyContin’s reformulation. We also find larger increases in child abuse and neglect after must‐access PDMP implementation in counties with higher pre‐intervention exposure to opioids. Our results uncover unintended consequences of reducing the supply of an addictive good without adequate support (or alternatives) for dependent users.
Keywords: opioids, child abuse and neglect
JEL Classification: I12, I18, J13
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation