The continuing drug overdose crisis in the U.S. has highlighted the urgent need for greater access to treatment. This paper examines the impact of openings and closings of substance use disorder treatment facilities in New Jersey on emergency room visits for substance use disorder issues among nearby residents. We find that drug-related ER visits increase by 7.4% after a facility closure and decrease by 6.5% after an opening. The effects are smaller for the middle aged than for either younger or older people, and are also somewhat larger for Black residents, and for those on Medicaid. The results suggest that expanding access to treatment results in significant reductions in morbidity related to drugs.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Health Policy
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
- Emergency room
- Substance use disorder
- Treatment facilities