How Opioids Are Affecting the Labor Force County by County

The nation’s opioid crisis isn’t just affecting addicts and their families. In addition to the enormous pressure it places on law enforcement and health care personnel, it’s having a very real impact on local economies.

Consider this statistic: Two-thirds of men between the ages of 25 to 54 who are not in the labor force are on some daily form of prescription pain medication. In fact, Princeton Economics Professor Alan B. Krueger estimates that opioids could account for as much as 20 percent of the decline in labor force participation among men and 25 percent among women.

That's huge. 

Krueger is out with a new paper that provides a stunning county-by-county breakdown of the epidemic’s impact on the U.S. labor force . Read the full paper here and check out this summary from the Brookings Institution.