Nav: Home

Craigslist linked to 15% increase in drug abuse facilities, 6% increase in overdose deaths

November 18, 2019

INFORMS Journal Management Science New Study Key Takeaways:
  • There is growing concern that digital platforms are contributing to the U.S. drug epidemic.
  • Over a period of more than 10 years after Craigslist's founding, there was a nearly 15% increase in drug abuse treatment admissions, 5.7% increase in drug abuse violations and 6% increase in drug overdose deaths.
  • The impact of online drug sales is higher in areas typically thought to be at a lower risk for drug abuse.
CATONSVILLE, MD, November 18, 2019 - New research in the INFORMS journal Management Science looks at the influence online platforms have on the rising illegal drug epidemic. This study shows drug abuse treatment admissions and overdose deaths have increased since the founding of Craigslist.

The paper, "Drug Abuse and the Internet: Evidence from Craigslist," written by Jiayi Liu and Anandhi Bharadwaj both of Emory University, looks at Craigslist rollout and drug abuse data from all counties in the United States from 1997 to 2008.

"From the national rollout of Craigslist, we find a 14.9% increase in drug abuse treatment admissions, a 5.7% increase in drug abuse violations and a 6% increase in drug overdose deaths after Craigslist got up and running," said Liu, a Ph.D. student in the Goizueta Business School.

The researchers point to a cloak of anonymity provided by online platforms such as Craigslist as the driving factor enabling new populations that were previously unaffected to enter the market.

Economic disadvantages such as unemployment, poverty and low education levels are thought to be associated with higher risk of drug abuse, but this study finds lower risk groups like Caucasians or Asians, women, the elderly and those more educated are more likely to use drugs after the entry of Craigslist.

"Online drug sales are likely to be more lucrative because the costs and risks of online transactions are lower than offline sales," said Bharadwaj, endowed chair in electronic commerce and professor of information systems and operations management at Goizueta Business School. "The entry of online platforms is likely to increase market participation by spurring both demand and supply of illicit drugs."

This study calls for additional law enforcement and healthcare resources to be proactively allocated in areas that were once unaffected by illicit drugs in anticipation of changes in drug abuse associated with online access.

"Meanwhile, providers of online services have a responsibility to anticipate and mitigate harms that their service might cause to users and society," continued Bharadwaj. "Many platforms like Google, Amazon, Facebook, YouTube, Uber and others have come under greater scrutiny in recent years. Our work adds to the growing chorus for stricter regulations and monitoring of online platforms."
-end-
About INFORMS and Management Science

Management Science is a premier peer-reviewed scholarly journal focused on research using quantitative approaches to study all aspects of management in companies and organizations. It is published by INFORMS, the leading international association for operations research and analytics professionals. More information is available at http://www.informs.org or @informs.

Contact:

Ashley Smith
443-757-3578
asmith@informs.org

Institute for Operations Research and the Management Sciences

Related Drug Abuse Articles:

Job skills training leads to long-term reduction in drug abuse
Job skills training for low-income youth does more than just help them get better jobs - it makes them significantly less likely than others to use some illicit drugs, even 16 years later.
Drug reduces the risk of child sexual abuse
A drug that lowers levels of the male hormone testosterone in the body reduces the risk of men with pedophilic disorder sexually abusing children, a study from Karolinska Institutet published today in the journal JAMA Psychiatry shows.
Recovery from sperm suppression due to performance-enhancing drug abuse is slow
Decreased sperm and testosterone production caused by abuse of performing-enhancing hormones may be fully reversible once men stop taking the drugs, but full recovery can take at least nine to 18 months, according to research to be presented Sunday, March 24 at ENDO 2019, the Endocrine Society's annual meeting in New Orleans, La.
URI drug study produces 'promising therapy' for alcohol abuse
A University of Rhode Island College of Pharmacy professor is working to change that, and a new clinical trial is right around the corner.
Parental attention can reduce risk of drug abuse in adolescence
Survey of more than 6,000 teenagers performed by Brazilian researchers reinforces protective function of rule-keeping, which relies on open dialogue about the importance of rules as much as on children's monitoring.
ADHD medication tied to lower risk for alcohol, drug abuse in teens and adults
The use of medication to treat attention deficient hyperactivity disorder is linked to significantly lower risk for substance use problems in adolescents and adults with ADHD, according to a study published in the American Journal of Psychiatry and led by Indiana University.
Stopping drug abuse can reverse related heart damage
Quitting methamphetamine use can reverse the damage the drug causes to the heart and improve heart function in abusers when combined with appropriate medical treatment, potentially preventing future drug-related cases of heart failure or other worse outcomes, according to a study published today in JACC: Heart Failure.
Opioid abuse drops when doctors check patients' drug history
There's a simple way to reduce the opioid epidemic gripping the country, according to new Cornell University research: Make doctors check their patients' previous prescriptions.
Alcohol abuse drug can be repurposed to treat a blinding disorder
Disulfiram prevents scars forming in a mouse model of scarring conjunctivitis.
Prescription drug abuse in Europe is a bigger problem than previously thought
International collaborations across the EU are needed to monitor prescription drug abuse, identify its scope and develop targeted interventions, according to the first comparative study of prescription drug abuse in the European Union.
More Drug Abuse News and Drug Abuse Current Events

Trending Science News

Current Coronavirus (COVID-19) News

Top Science Podcasts

We have hand picked the top science podcasts of 2020.
Now Playing: TED Radio Hour

Listen Again: Meditations on Loneliness
Original broadcast date: April 24, 2020. We're a social species now living in isolation. But loneliness was a problem well before this era of social distancing. This hour, TED speakers explore how we can live and make peace with loneliness. Guests on the show include author and illustrator Jonny Sun, psychologist Susan Pinker, architect Grace Kim, and writer Suleika Jaouad.
Now Playing: Science for the People

#565 The Great Wide Indoors
We're all spending a bit more time indoors this summer than we probably figured. But did you ever stop to think about why the places we live and work as designed the way they are? And how they could be designed better? We're talking with Emily Anthes about her new book "The Great Indoors: The Surprising Science of how Buildings Shape our Behavior, Health and Happiness".
Now Playing: Radiolab

The Third. A TED Talk.
Jad gives a TED talk about his life as a journalist and how Radiolab has evolved over the years. Here's how TED described it:How do you end a story? Host of Radiolab Jad Abumrad tells how his search for an answer led him home to the mountains of Tennessee, where he met an unexpected teacher: Dolly Parton.Jad Nicholas Abumrad is a Lebanese-American radio host, composer and producer. He is the founder of the syndicated public radio program Radiolab, which is broadcast on over 600 radio stations nationwide and is downloaded more than 120 million times a year as a podcast. He also created More Perfect, a podcast that tells the stories behind the Supreme Court's most famous decisions. And most recently, Dolly Parton's America, a nine-episode podcast exploring the life and times of the iconic country music star. Abumrad has received three Peabody Awards and was named a MacArthur Fellow in 2011.