New research provides a formula to help cities and counties know what to expect, financially, when drug deaths spike.
As governments grapple with the rising cost of the opioid crisis, one group may have found a way to predict how high those costs will go.
For every three fatal overdoses, a local government's public safety costs can increase by an average of 1 percent, or $150,000, according to research from the data platform OpenGov. What’s more, once deaths start spiking, government costs tend to steadily increase at that rate for about three years until they begin to plateau.
The findings give local governments an idea of what to expect financially as they respond to rising overdose deaths. The data were gathered from 20 cities and counties across five states considered to be on the front lines of the crisis -- Kentucky, Maryland, Massachusetts, Ohio and Pennsylvania -- and released exclusively to Governing.