Quantifying How Much the Opioid Epidemic Costs Governments

June 5, 2018 – Joe Roualdes

Governments of all sizes across the U.S. are struggling with the opioid epidemic.

Our more than 1,900 customers build, manage, and share their budgets in OpenGov, which gives us unique insight into how much the opioid epidemic is costing governments.

So in January, we identified states that have a high number of drug-overdose deaths (using CDC data) and a large number of cities and counties that use OpenGov to build and manage their budgets, track their performance, and engage citizens. Ohio, Kentucky, Pennsylvania, Maryland, and Massachusetts rose to the top. Then we analyzed public-safety expenses and drug overdose death rates between 2010 and 2016 in 20 cities and counties across those states.

Our goal was to determine how much the opioid epidemic was costing those governments, and provide governments across the U.S. with insights that can help them fight the opioid epidemic.

Click here to view the full research, which we visualized using Story Builder -- a major enhancement to our Citizen Engagement solution that helps governments more effectively share information with their communities using easy-to-build web pages that combine data, images, maps, videos, and text.

Governing Writer Liz Farmer published an article yesterday titled "How to Calculate What Opioid Overdoses Cost Government" that features this research. It also highlights some great work being done by Dan Cortez, who is the Community Engagement Specialist for the City of Chelsea, MA. So be sure to check it out as well!

Read the full research