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The Impact of Naloxone Access Laws on Opioid Overdose Deaths in the U.S


  • Elham Erfanian

    (Regional Research Institute, West Virginia University)

  • Alan R. Collins

    (Division of Resource Economics and Management, West Virginia University)

  • Daniel Grossmam

    (Department of Economics, West Virginia University)


Opioid overdose is the leading cause of unintentional death in the U.S. Narcan TM (Naloxone) is a prescription medicine that can reverse overdose effects. This research investigates the effect of Naloxone access laws on overdose death rates using state and temporal variation in the enactment of these laws. We also explore possible spillover effects between Naloxone access laws and overdose death rates across states. Our analyses reveal that when broken down by access law provisions, there exists a mixture of positive and negative effects on overdose death rates depending upon the provision. The results indicate that Naloxone access provisions have regional impacts by influencing overdose death rates within the state enacted and have a spillover effect in neighboring states. The magnitude of spillover effects is larger than direct effects in the states. Looking across multiple provisions, our findings provide no statistical evidence that these laws reduce opioid death rates.

Suggested Citation

  • Elham Erfanian & Alan R. Collins & Daniel Grossmam, 2018. "The Impact of Naloxone Access Laws on Opioid Overdose Deaths in the U.S," Working Papers Working Paper 2018-03, Regional Research Institute, West Virginia University.
  • Handle: RePEc:rri:wpaper:2018wp03

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    More about this item


    opioid overdose death; Naloxone access law; spatial spillovers;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • I18 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Government Policy; Regulation; Public Health
    • I12 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Health Behavior
    • C3 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Multiple or Simultaneous Equation Models; Multiple Variables

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