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Prescription Drug Monitoring Programs, Opioid Abuse, and Crime

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  • Dhaval Dave
  • Monica Deza
  • Brady P. Horn

Abstract

We study the spillover effects of prescription drug monitoring programs (PDMPs) on crime, and in the process inform how policies that restrict access to Rx opioids per se within the healthcare system would impact broader non-health domains. In response to the substantial increase in opioid use and misuse in the United States, PDMPs have been implemented in virtually all states to collect, monitor, and analyze prescription opioid data with the goal of preventing misuse and the diversion of controlled substances. Using information on offenses known to law enforcement and arrests from the Uniform Crime Reports (UCR), combined with a difference-in-differences empirical strategy, we find that PDMPs reduced overall crime by 5%. These reductions in crime are associated with both violent and property crimes. This decrease in crime is also reflected by a decrease in crime-related arrests as well as drug-related arrests. Overall, these results provide additional evidence that PDMPs are an effective social policy tool to mitigate some of the negative consequences of opioid misuse, and more broadly indicate that opioid policies can have important spillover effects into other non-health related domains such as crime.

Suggested Citation

  • Dhaval Dave & Monica Deza & Brady P. Horn, 2018. "Prescription Drug Monitoring Programs, Opioid Abuse, and Crime," NBER Working Papers 24975, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:24975
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    4. Fone, Zachary S. & Friedson, Andrew I. & Lipton, Brandy & Sabia, Joseph J., 2020. "The Dependent Coverage Mandate Took a Bite Out of Crime," IZA Discussion Papers 12968, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
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    11. Deiana, Claudio & Giua, Ludovica, 2018. "The US Opidemic: Prescription Opioids, Labour Market Conditions and Crime," MPRA Paper 85712, University Library of Munich, Germany.
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    15. Johanna Catherine Maclean & Justine Mallatt & Christopher J. Ruhm & Kosali Simon, 2022. "The Opioid Crisis, Health, Healthcare, and Crime: A Review of Quasi-Experimental Economic Studies," The ANNALS of the American Academy of Political and Social Science, , vol. 703(1), pages 15-49, September.
    16. Carolina Arteaga Cabrales & Victoria Barone, 2021. "The Opioid Epidemic: Causes and Consequences," Working Papers tecipa-698, University of Toronto, Department of Economics.
    17. Deza, Monica & Maclean, Johanna Catherine & Solomon, Keisha, 2022. "Local access to mental healthcare and crime," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 129(C).
    18. Sim, Yongbo, 2023. "The effect of opioids on crime: Evidence from the introduction of OxyContin," International Review of Law and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 74(C).
    19. Buckles, Kasey & Evans, William N. & Lieber, Ethan M.J., 2023. "The drug crisis and the living arrangements of children," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 87(C).
    20. Thuy D. Nguyen & W. David Bradford & Kosali I. Simon, 2019. "How do Opioid Prescribing Restrictions Affect Pharmaceutical Promotion? Lessons from the Mandatory Access Prescription Drug Monitoring Programs," NBER Working Papers 26356, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    21. Shishir Shakya & Collin Hodges, 2023. "Must‐access prescription drug monitoring programs and retail opioid sales," Contemporary Economic Policy, Western Economic Association International, vol. 41(1), pages 146-165, January.
    22. Gunadi, Christian, 2021. "On the Tragedy of Mass Shooting: the Crime Effects," GLO Discussion Paper Series 951, Global Labor Organization (GLO).
    23. Monica Deza & Thanh Lu & Johanna Catherine Maclean, 2022. "Office‐based mental healthcare and juvenile arrests," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 31(S2), pages 69-91, October.
    24. Barnes, Stephen & Joshi, Swarup & Terrell, Dek, 2023. "Disasters and health insurance: Evidence from Louisiana," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 128(C).

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    JEL classification:

    • H0 - Public Economics - - General
    • I1 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health
    • K0 - Law and Economics - - General

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