Panel: Combatting the Opioid Epidemic: Determinants of Abuse and Policies for a Way Forward
(Crime and Drugs)

Thursday, November 2, 2017: 1:45 PM-3:15 PM
Stetson D (Hyatt Regency Chicago)

*Names in bold indicate Presenter

Panel Organizers:  Anita Mukherjee, University of Wisconsin - Madison
Panel Chairs:  Philip Cook, Duke University

Examining the Long-Term Effects of the 2001 Australian Heroin Shortage
Timothy Moore, University of Melbourne and Kevin T. Schnepel, University of Sydney

Strategic Options for Managing the U.S. Opioid Epidemic
Mark A. R. Kleiman, New York University

Macroeconomic Conditions and Opioid Abuse
Alex Hollingsworth1, Christopher Ruhm2 and Kosali Simon1, (1)Indiana University, (2)University of Virginia

The Moral Hazard of Lifesaving Innovations: Naloxone Access, Opioid Abuse, and Crime
Jennifer L. Doleac, University of Virginia and Anita Mukherjee, University of Wisconsin - Madison

This panel features cutting-edge research from multiple perspectives on how to manage the country’s opioid epidemic. In the past year, more than 2 million people suffered from opioid overdoses and in several states, the death toll from these overdoses exceeded the death toll from vehicle accidents. Opioid abuse and addiction impacts nearly every demographic group in the country including by age, race, and geography. Addiction typically begins with prescription drugs but can quickly move to illegal substances like heroin, making vulnerable individuals even more so through involvement with the criminal justice system. Hence, this panel will examine closely the determinants of risky behaviors regarding drug abuse and criminal behavior, with attention to policies that can reduce both.

This panel includes work on the determinants of opioid abuse, including macroeconomic factors such as unemployment rates and health innovations such as access to drugs that can limit the fatal consequences of opioid overdoses. This panel also includes research on international contexts. Specifically, one paper examines the impact of heroin shortages on health and crime outcomes related to opioid overdoses in Australia. Finally, given the wide-ranging nature of the opioid epidemic and recent policy experiences with other substances such as cannabis, the panel will feature research exploring broadly how policymakers and practitioners can strategically manage the opioid epidemic.

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