The opioid epidemic – Healthcare Economist

epidemic. noun

  1. an outbreak of illness that spreads rapidly and impacts many people on the identical time : an outbreak of epidemic illness
  2. an outbreak or product of sudden fast unfold, development, or growth

The opioid epidemic is one which has affect a lot of People. Knowledge from 2019 exhibits that there have been over 15,500 deaths in 2019 on account of opioids. Many epidemics are contagious in nature in that they unfold from one particular person to a different. Might the sort of contagious illness mannequin be utilized to the opioid epidemic as properly?

In response to an NBER paper by Adamopoulou et al. (2024) the reply is ‘sure’. When an individual has a pal that makes use of opioids, that particular person is more likely to make use of opioids.

Utilizing information from the Nationwide Longitudinal Survey of Adolescent Well being (Add Well being), adults aged 25-34 and their highschool finest mates are targeted on. An instrumental variable method is employed to estimate peer results in opioid misuse. Extreme accidents within the earlier 12 months are used as an instrument for opioid misuse to be able to estimate the causal affect of somebody misusing opioids on the likelihood that their finest mates additionally misuse. The estimated peer results are vital: Having a finest pal with a reported critical damage within the earlier 12 months will increase the likelihood of personal opioid misuse by round 7 proportion factors in a inhabitants the place 17 p.c ever misuses opioids. The impact is pushed by people and not using a faculty diploma and those that stay in the identical county as their finest mates.

The total working paper is right here. Hat tip to Marginal Revolution.


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