Unemployment Kills –
January 2, 2019 – She was curious how the regional decline might have shaped her subjects’ politics. But she quickly noticed a startling trend alongside the growing unemployment: Her subjects and their families were struggling with opioid abuse. At community meetings, doctors and coroners would debate solutions to the problem. Should they be arresting people? Should they be creating support groups? She describes one desperate parent who asked whether Donald Trump’s proposed border wall would keep black tar heroin from getting to Pennsylvania. Silva’s interviewees might have been representative of an awful connection between job loss and opioid abuse, a connection that continues to be bolstered by research. A study published on Monday in the journal JAMA found that counties with automotive assembly plants that closed had, five years after the closure, 85 percent higher rates of opioid-overdose mortality, relative to counties where automotive assembly plants remained open.