Initiative for Regulation and Applied Economic Analysis Highlight Video
Mapping the Drug Epidemic and Treatment Access
By Isaac D. Swensen, Samuel R. Bondurant, and Jason M. Lindo·March 16, 2018
Texas A&M University and Montana State University
Fueled in part by a raging opioid epidemic, drug overdose deaths have surged in the United States since 1999. More people currently die from drug overdoses than from motor vehicle accidents, as drug-related deaths have become the leading category of fatalities due to external causes. Yet access to treatment remains extremely limited. Currently, only about 1 in 10 people who need treatment for a substance use disorder receive that treatment. But there is evidence that increasing access to treatment reduces drug-related deaths. Moreover, providing greater access to treatment can have a broader community impact by reducing crime.
(Click here for a larger interactive version. Hover over each county to see county-specific estimates.)