Origins of the Opioid Crisis

David Juurlink posted a tweetstorm based on a new report from the National Bureau of Economic Research entitled Origins of the Opioid Crisis and Its Enduring Impacts.

It’s important because it challenges a few common claims about the opioid crisis:

  • That rx opioids were not an especially important driver of the crisis.
  • That regulatory reform would not have had much impact.
  • That the role of Purdue Pharma’s lobbying and policy advocacy has been exaggerated.
  • That despair related to economic conditions was the real driver of deaths. If it wasn’t opioid OD, it’d have been suicide, alcohol-related causes, or something else. (I’ve posted before on the “diseases of despair” theory.)

Here’s the tweetstorm. (If you received this via email and it doesn’t look right, visit to view the actual post.)

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