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Researching Policies to Prevent Drug Overdose


Drugged driving – including the use of prescription opioids – carries an increased risk of fatal motor vehicle crashes. In an effort to curb the opioid epidemic, states have enacted laws designed to reduce high-risk opioid prescribing practices (e.g., high-dose and long-term opioid prescribing). Effective opioid prescribing laws have been shown to reduce opioid use, misuse, and overdose deaths and may also reduce opioid-impaired driving fatalities.  

Jon Vernick, JD and his team, are examining the effects of state opioid prescribing laws on overall rates of fatal motor vehicle crashes and on fatal crashes among groups at high risk for opioid morbidity and mortality. State policies of interest include: 1) mandatory prescription drug monitoring program (PDMP) enrollment laws; 2) mandatory PDMP query laws; 3) opioid prescribing caps; and 4) pill mill laws. This work will continue to advance state-level policy evaluation, with the potential to impact state-level policy enactment that can reduce fatal motor vehicle crashes. 

For more information about this research, contact Jon Vernick at