Study: Opioid Deaths Rise in Towns Where U.S. Auto Plants Have Closed

This confirms that towns and small cities that have been hit by job-killing free trade have suffered more in the opioid crisis

Image Credits: Douglas Sacha / Getty Images.

Opioid deaths sharply rise in American communities where multinational automakers have closed their United States plants and outsourced those jobs to foreign countries, the latest medical study confirms.

The study by acclaimed researchers, published in JAMA Internal Medicine, notes that American communities that experienced an auto plant closure within the last five years saw a much greater rate of opioid deaths than communities whose auto plants have remained open.

This confirms that towns and small cities that have been hit by job-killing free trade have suffered more in the opioid crisis.

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The researchers note:

US manufacturing counties that experienced an automotive assembly plant closure were compared with counties in which automotive plants remained open from 1999 to 2016. Automotive assembly plant closures were associated with a statistically significant increase in county-level opioid overdose mortality rates among adults aged 18 to 65 years. [Emphasis added]

The study’s findings reveal that five years after a community’s auto plant closed, opioid deaths increased by 85 percent compared to communities whose auto plants have not closed.

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