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Timothy J. Moore (Purdue University)

16 May 2022 @ 12:00 - 13:00


  • Past event


16 May 2022
12:00 - 13:00
Event Category:
Academic Events

“Importing the Opioid Crisis? Trade, Smuggling, and Fentanyl Overdoses”


Abstract. The recent increase in U.S. drug overdose deaths is primarily due to fentanyl, a powerful synthetic opioid that now accounts for two-thirds of opioid overdose deaths. Nearly all fentanyl is smuggled into the U.S., but little is known about how this occurs. We show that states with more legal imports have more fentanyl overdose deaths, which indicates that this is an important smuggling channel. The relationship coincides with the global rise of fentanyl since 2014 and is not explained by factors potentially affecting demand, including local economic conditions and job losses due to import competition. By 2018, the elasticity of states’ fentanyl deaths to import flows is 0.4, while other causes of death do not increase with imports. We assess the role of different types of imports which provides insight into how specifically fentanyl is being smuggled.