A Statistical Analysis of Drug Seizures and Opioid Overdose Deaths in Ohio from 2014 to 2018
Keywords:opioid epidemic, fentanyl, drug overdose deaths, harm reduction, Ohio, law enforcement
Objective. To examine the association between drug seizures and drug overdose deaths in Ohio from 2014 to 2018.
Methods. We use linear regression, ARIMA models, and categorical data analysis to quantify the effect of drug seizure composition and weight on drug overdose deaths, to quantify the lag between drug seizures and overdose deaths, and to compare the weight distributions of drug seizures conducted by different types of law enforcement (national, local, and drug task forces).
Results. Drug seizure composition and weight have strong predictive value for drug overdose deaths (F = 27.14, p < 1e-15, R² = .7799). A time series analysis demonstrates no statistically significant lag between drug seizures and overdose deaths or weight. Histograms and Kolmogorov-Smirnov tests demonstrate stark differences between seizure weight distributions of different types of law enforcement (p < 1e-7 for each pairwise comparison).
Conclusions. Consideration of drug composition and weight can inform law enforcement seizure activity. To save lives, law enforcement should emphasize seizures of low weight drugs that contain fentanyl.
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Copyright (c) 2021 David White, Lam Tran, Lin Ma
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