The Opioid Prescribing Rate and Grandparents Living With Grandchildren: State- and County-Level Analysis

Lydia Anderson , U.S. Census Bureau

Over the past twenty years, the United States has seen an increase in opioid use and the opioid overdose death rate, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). In 2017, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services declared the opioid epidemic a public health emergency. Media outlets along with some nonprofit organizations have claimed that there is a relationship between grandparents living with grandchildren and the opioid epidemic. However, little quantitative research has examined this relationship. Federal data from the U.S. Census Bureau and the CDC, with detailed information for low levels of geography, can inform this pressing social issue. Leveraging 2012-2016 American Community Survey 5-year data on household structure and CDC 2016 Opioid Prescribing data, this study aims to provide a statistical analysis of the relationship between grandparents raising grandchildren and opioid prescriptions at the state and county level.

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 Presented in Session 9. Marriage, Family, Households, & Unions; Gender, Race, & Ethnicity