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This book utilized county-level opioid prescribing data in California from 2012–2017 to examine opioid prescribing practices in various ways: it summarized the general trends in opioid prescribing in California counties, examined the association between community characteristics and the opioid prescribing rate at the county-level, estimated the associations between opioid prescribing rates and county-level arrest rates, and three county-level opioid-related public health outcomes. The current chapter highlights the main project findings and addresses the three research questions proposed in this book. Implications for policy and practice are also addressed, specifically suggesting the importance of continued data collection, better education in opioid prescribing, and the overall reduction of high-risk prescribing practices. Based on the results of this research, reductions to California’s county-level prescribing rates are predicted to reduce crime and adverse public health outcomes at the county-level. Overall, this project has indicated that the effects of the opioid crisis reach beyond public health and have significant consequences for the criminal justice system as well. As such, the reduction of opioid prescribing rates at the local level requires a multi-disciplinary approach to be most effective.
KeywordsOpioids Drugs Substance use Prescriptions County-level
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