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 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.
Evans, Mary F., Matthew C. Harris, and Lawrence M. Kessler.
"The Hazards of Unwinding the Prescription Opioid Epidemic: Implications for Child Maltreatment."
American Economic Journal: Economic Policy,
Health: Government Policy; Regulation; Public Health
Fertility; Family Planning; Child Care; Children; Youth
Environmental, Energy, Health, and Safety Law
Illegal Behavior and the Enforcement of Law
Chemicals; Plastics; Rubber; Drugs; Biotechnology