The Social and Community Consequences of the Opioid Epidemic

AuthorRajeev Darolia,Colleen Heflin
DOIhttp://doi.org/10.1177/00027162231157569
Published date01 September 2022
Date01 September 2022
ANNALS, AAPSS, 703, September 2022 7
DOI: 10.1177/00027162231157569
The Social and
Community
Consequences
of the Opioid
Epidemic
By
RAJEEV DAROLIA
and
COLLEEN HEFLIN
1157569ANN THE ANNALS OF THE AMERICAN ACADEMYSOCIAL AND COMMUNITY CONSEQUENCES OF THE OPIOID EPIDEMIC
research-article2023
We provide a brief orientation to the articles that com-
prise this volume, which is an effort to understand the
consequences of the opioid epidemic in a variety of
societal and community domains. These domains
include child welfare, living arrangements, education,
food insecurity, housing, and public budgets, and they
are often paid scant attention compared to research
that focuses on the direct effects of opioid use. We give
an overview of the articles that comprise this volume
and discuss the ways in which they contribute new
empirical insights on the consequences of the opioid
crisis in the U.S. and Canada. We conclude with
thoughts on the challenges inherent in this work,
insights about how this volume of research might help
us understand the broader reach of the epidemic, and
how it helps in the development of prosocial public
policies.
Keywords: opioids; education; food insecurity; child
welfare; homelessness
The COVID-19 pandemic has dominated
much of the attention our nation has paid
to public health in the past few years, yet the
opioid epidemic has continued to rage on in the
U.S. and Canada. The number of opioid-
involved overdose deaths markedly grew over
the 20 years leading up to the COVID-19 pan-
demic: in 2019, almost 50,000 people died from
an opioid overdose in the U.S., almost sixfold
the level from 2000.1 In 2020, the number of
Correspondence: Rajeev.Darolia@uky.edu
Rajeev Darolia (rajeev.darolia@uky.edu) is the Wendell
H. Ford Professor of Public Policy, professor of public
policy and economics, associate dean for research of the
Graduate School, and associate director for the Center
for Poverty Research at the University of Kentucky.
Colleen Heflin (cmheflin@syr.edu) is the chair and pro-
fessor of public administration and international affairs,
associate dean of the Maxwell School of Citizenship and
Public Affairs, and senior research associate in the
Center for Policy Research and the Lerner Center for
Public Health Promotion at Syracuse University.

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