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Opioid Epidemic Linked to Decline in U.S. Labor Force: Study

A new study published in Brookings Papers on Economic Activity has made a convincing case for blaming at least part of a recent downward trend in the U .S. labor force on prescription opioid medications.

For this ‘first-of-its-kind’ study to be published in a peer-reviewed journal, researchers at the University of Tennessee (UT) looked at causal effects of opioid addiction on the U.S. labor force after a large number of employers began asking why no one was applying for job openings.

“The effects are really large,” said Matt Harris, assistant professor in UT’s Boyd Center for Business and Economic research and co-author of the study. “Prescription opioids may explain up to half of the decline in labor force participation since 2000.”

Free Confidential Lawsuit Evaluation: If you or a loved one has suffered an accidental overdose on a prescription opioid medication, you should contact our law firm immediately. You may be entitled to compensation by filing a suit against the manufacturer and our lawyers can help.

What’s the Problem?

Effects of the opioid crisis are perhaps especially clear to the researchers who carried out this study, as Tennessee is among the states hit hardest by the drugs. On average, providers in Tennessee write 1.4 opioid prescriptions per person per year, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). This rate is more or less equivalent to prescribing 80 opioid doses to every man, woman, and child in Tennessee each year.

“We found that opioids have this strong adverse effect on labor force participation but only a marginally significant effect on the unemployment rate, which leads us to believe that opioids are leading individuals to exit the labor force entirely,” said UT’s Larry Kessler, who co-authored the study.

Opioid Overdose Statistics

The researchers concluded by saying that any viable solution to the opioid public health crisis is going to require considerable funding and an increased focus on treatment therapy. In addition to curtailing negative effects of opioid abuse, there are considerable economic gains to be gleaned from tackling the addiction issue head-on.

“The results suggest that in Tennessee, you could effectively boost income among residents by $800 million per year if you reduce opioid usage 10 percent,” said Harris.

Do I Have an Opioid Lawsuit?

The Pharmaceutical Litigation Group at our law firm is an experienced team of trial lawyers that focus on the representation of plaintiffs in opioid overdose lawsuits. We are handling individual litigation nationwide and currently accepting new injury and death cases in all 50 states.

Free Case Evaluation: Again, if you accidentally overdosed on a prescription opioid drug, or were in any other way adversely affected by the side effects of anjc opioid, you should contact our law firm immediately. You may be entitled to a settlement by filing a suit and we can help.

Free Confidential Case Evaluation

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