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Papers of the Week

2020 Oct 22

J Epidemiol Community Health

The link between unemployment and opioid prescribing. An instrumental variable approach using evidence from England.



Unemployment has been associated with chronic pain, which is often treated with prescription opioids. Opioid mortality has been included in the so-called category of 'deaths of despair' due to the role of lack of opportunity. While previous studies have found an association between unemployment and opioids, the relationship is endogenous and examining any effect is challenging.