Year of Publication



Public Health

Degree Name

Master of Public Health (M.P.H.)

Committee Chair

Dr. Teresa Waters

Committee Member

Dr. Richard Ingram

Committee Member

Dr. Hefei Wen


Background: In 2011, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) coined the phrase, “opioid epidemic” in response to the staggering increase in opioid use and opioid- related deaths. Kentucky House Bill 1 (HB1) passed in 2012, attempted to stifle the impact of the opioid epidemic on the citizens of the Commonwealth by imposing supply-side restrictions on the prescription and dispensing of opioid pills. Objective: The primary objective of this analysis is to evaluate the effectiveness of HB1 on the reduction of opioid-related deaths, opioid prescription rates, and intravenous opioid drug use rates. Methods: This analysis employed Eugene Bardach’s framework for policy analysis- the Eightfold Path, to systematically assess the policy and other options at that time. Results: After HB1 a decrease in the rate of opioid prescriptions in Kentucky was observed. However, the rate of opioid-related overdose deaths increased. Discussion/Recommendation: Supply-side restrictions on opioid pills may lead to the unintended consequence of diversion to intravenous opioid abuse, which carries even greater public health implications. Comprehensive policy should include both supply-side regulations as well as provisions for treatment and recovery for those suffering from addiction.

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