Date of Award


Document Type

Union College Only

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts



First Advisor

Younghwan Song


opioid, epidemic


The opioid epidemic has cost the US more than one trillion dollars over the past 17 years and is expected to cost more than 500 billion dollars over the next three years. Utilizing state level panel data from the 2006-2013 Current Population Surveys and Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance Systems, this paper uses regression analysis to examine the effects of various factors, such as income, unemployment, health insurance coverage, sex, race/ethnicity, marital status, education, age, and health status, on opioid overdose/abuse. By identifying the high-risk groups, resources can be more efficiently allocated to the areas and people in need. These resources include educating the people and the health care providers in the affected area, providing accessible Naloxone, implementing opioid addiction relief programs, etc. Having these resources accessible to the areas in need will improve the health of the population and reduce health care costs. Other researchers have identified these high-risk groups on a local level. This study provides a more in-depth statewide review of high-risk groups. This paper finds those who are widowed or divorced, higher education graduates, not in the labor force, with reported poor health, on Medicaid, uninsured, who identify in the other race category, or who live in metropolitan areas are high-risk. Further, prescription rate per state was associated with higher prescription opioid overdose death rate. Considering this, additional attention should be placed on these high-risk groups when considering treatment, prevention, and other tactics to help battle the ongoing epidemic.