The Social and Community Consequences of the Opioid Epidemic
Vol. 703, September 2022
Interest in public health in recent years has been dominated by the COVID-19 pandemic, but the opioid epidemic continues to rage. Opioid-related deaths in the U.S. have surged from 50,000 in 2019 to 81,000 in 2021. The COVID-19 pandemic has contributed to these deaths, but other pressures on public health, social service, and education systems have also played a role.
Research on the opioid epidemic has understandably focused on individuals with opioid and substance use disorders, and the best treatment options and preventative measures available to them. Researchers have given short shrift, though, to the impact of the crisis on families and communities, and the greater societal costs of the epidemic. Because the effects of the opioid epidemic have not been equally distributed across gender, age, and race/ethnicity, more localized and specific estimates are necessary in understanding the true reach of epidemic.
This volume of the ANNALS aims to improve our understanding of the consequences of the opioid epidemic in a variety of societal and community domains, including child well-being, education, housing security, food security, labor productivity, and public budgets. Here, a cross- disciplinary group of researchers considers the social and community consequences of the opioid epidemic in the U.S. and Canada using a variety of measures to both improve public understanding of the sweep of the crisis and to inform the public response.
From the Archives
Truth as a Weapon in the Free World
Vol. 278, November, 1951
From the Introduction