The Hazards of Unwinding the Prescription Opioid Epidemic: Implications for Child Maltreatment
Mary F. Evans
Matthew C. Harris
Lawrence M. Kessler
- American Economic Journal: Economic Policy (Forthcoming)
Child maltreatment has significant and long-lasting consequences. 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 maltreatment. Our results suggest that counties with greater initial rates of prescription opioid usage experienced relatively larger increases in child physical abuse and neglect after OxyContin’s reformulation. We also find some evidence of increases in alleged physical abuse and neglect due to must-access PDMP implementation. Our results uncover unintended consequences for children of reducing the supply of an addictive good without adequate support for dependent users.
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