The Hazards of Unwinding the Prescription Opioid Epidemic: Implications for Child Abuse and Neglect

72 Pages Posted: 13 May 2020

See all articles by Mary F. Evans

Mary F. Evans

Claremont McKenna College - Robert Day School of Economics and Finance

Matthew Harris

University of Tennessee, Knoxville - College of Business Administration

Lawrence Kessler

University of Tennessee, Knoxville - College of Business Administration - Center for Business and Economic Research

Date Written: April 21, 2020

Abstract

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

Evans, Mary F. and Harris, Matthew and Kessler, Lawrence, The Hazards of Unwinding the Prescription Opioid Epidemic: Implications for Child Abuse and Neglect (April 21, 2020). Claremont McKenna College Robert Day School of Economics and Finance Research Paper No. 3582060, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3582060 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3582060

Mary F. Evans (Contact Author)

Claremont McKenna College - Robert Day School of Economics and Finance ( email )

500 E. Ninth St.
Claremont, CA 91711-6420
United States
909.607.3423 (Phone)

Matthew Harris

University of Tennessee, Knoxville - College of Business Administration ( email )

TN
United States

Lawrence Kessler

University of Tennessee, Knoxville - College of Business Administration - Center for Business and Economic Research ( email )

Temple Court, Suite 100
804 Volunteer Blvd.
Knoxville, TN 37996-4334
United States

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