Call for Papers: Social and Community Consequences of the Opioid Epidemic



The ANNALS of the American Academy of Political and Social Science

Special issue editors and conference organizers: Rajeev Darolia (University of Kentucky) and Colleen Heflin (Syracuse University)

Proposals due May 7, 2021


Before the COVID19 pandemic started to dominate the collective consciousness, the opioid crisis in the United States was widely recognized as one of the most important public health emergencies of our time. Opioid overdoses led to over 47,000 deaths in 2018–more than fivefold the levels from the late 1990s–accounting for about 128 deaths per day.

While the COVID-19 pandemic has the potential to wane in the coming year, the opioid epidemic has continued to rage on, and intensify, largely out of the public eye. Both the COVID-19 and opioid crises are putting pressure on the same public health, social service, and education systems. It is therefore critical to understand the social and community consequences of the opioid epidemic, so that we can develop policy solutions and understand the broad reach of the epidemic on diverse groups.

This project is designed to stimulate the production of and exposure to a set of papers that will improve our understanding of the consequences of the opioid epidemic in a variety of societal and community domains. Suggested topics for the special issue include, but are not limited to, the link between the opioid epidemic and:

  • Household formation
  • Child maltreatment & foster care
  • Labor market
  • Education
  • Housing security
  • Food security & SNAP participation
  • State/local budgets
  • Intergenerational effects
  • Crime
  • Inequality.

Importantly, papers should not only analyze and document the consequences of the opioid epidemic in these domains, but also should address the role of public policy in ways that suggest pathways to policy solutions: How has public policy mitigated or aggravated the effects of the opioid epidemic? What is our best understanding of evidence-led policy in the given domain?

This project will have two products: a conference tentatively scheduled for January 2022, and a volume of The ANNALS of the American Academy of Political and Social Science.

Submission Guidelines
To submit a proposal, send the following materials in one email attachment by email to Annals@syr.edu by May 7, 2021.

  • Proposal abstract (maximum 1 page) identifying:
    • Title;
    • The purpose of the study and the guiding questions;
    • Research methods and sources of data;
    • Fit with the scope of the volume;
    • Expected contributions to knowledge and significance to policymakers.
  • List of authors and brief biographical sketches (1 page).

Expected Timeline

May 7, 2021: Proposals due
June 1, 2021: Papers selected for expected inclusion in the volume
December 3, 2021: Papers submitted by authors for peer review
January 2022: Authors conference
February 4, 2022: Written feedback provided to all authors
April 1, 2022: Final revised manuscripts due
April 15, 2022: Final decision on selection for inclusion in The ANNALS
September 2022: Volume published

The ANNALS exists to encourage and publish broad, interdisciplinary perspectives on important social issues, promoting the use of the social sciences to inform public opinion and to improve public policy. This ANNALS volume will include selected empirical papers, an introduction and conclusion by the issue’s editors and commentaries/essays from leading practitioners and/or policymakers. The commentaries will reflect on the practical and policy implications of the empirical evidence. Our aim is to produce a volume that is substantively focused and draws from multiple disciplinary and methodological perspectives (e.g., economics, sociological, public policy). For more information about The ANNALS of the American Academy of Political and Social Science, please visit https://journals.sagepub.com/home/ann.