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Analyzing the relationships between city opioid deaths and socioeconomic factors

Ryan William McGinnis, MS, Les Sztandera, PhD, Jeanne Ruane, PhD, Rajanikanth Vadigepalli, PhD


Background: The opioid crisis has been increasing in severity over the past several decades. Every year, thousands of people die due to opioid-related issues. The factors that play into the causes of this are complex. Our study aimed to see how commute times, city budget for roads, and city budget for arts and culture contribute to the city's overall opioid death rates. We know that overdose rates are more common in cities rather than rural areas, therefore making one major city per state as part of our design.

Methods: We collected data from one city per state (n = 50) and ran two ANOVA tests and 11 logistical regression tests. Both types of tests were run on IBM SPSS Statistical software version 25 at its default settings with a confidence interval set to 95 percent. Opioid deaths were the dependent variable, whereas commute time, budget for roads, and budget for arts and culture were the independent variables.

Results: Commute time yielded a significant result in almost all the tests it was included in: Table 1, 0.033; Table 3, 0.000; Figure 4, 0.000; Figure 5, 0.000. Budget for roads also showed significant results in most of its tests as well: Table 1, 0.003; Table 2, 0.047; Figure 3, 0.001. Budget for arts and culture showed significant results but not in a pattern that we could interpret: Table 1, 0.002; Table 2, 0.021; Table 4, 0.013.

Conclusions: Commute time and the budget for roads are likely to play a role in their city's opioid crisis. Understanding where a city fits in relation to these results may better help them prepare and reduce opioid death rates.


opioid, socioeconomic factors, addiction, public health, overdose

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