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Opioid Deaths Surge When Auto Plants Close

Five years after plants closed, opioid deaths were 85% higher.

A new study looks at how manufacturing communities have been hit by the opioid epidemic. 

According to US News, when auto assembly plants closed, opioid overdose deaths increased. Five years after plants closed, opioid deaths were 85% higher compared to communities where plants stayed open. 

The study reveals the importance of economic opportunity and how it factored into the opioid crisis. 

This was the first study to focus on regions that lost auto assembly plants to illustrate the fallout when a local economic engine is lost. It is the latest to suggest that curbing the availability of drugs won't be enough to stop opioid deaths. 

According to the researchers, we need a "national resilience strategy," including better drug use screening and data collection, so we can help prevent deaths when communities experience these “economic shocks.”

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