Year of Publication



Martin School of Public Policy and Administration

Degree Name

Master of Public Policy

Executive Summary

Prescription drug monitoring programs (PDMPs) are state policy tools to combat risky opioid prescribing. Since 2012, several states began to mandate PDMP use. As mandating use laws have settled down, evaluating potential adverse events becomes possible.

In this study, I focus on alcohol-induced mortality as a potential unintended consequence via substituting alcohol for prescription opioids, since alcohol and opioids are often concurrently misused as a part of pain self-management. Therefore, the aim of this study is to analyze the unintended consequences of prescription opioid access restrictions on alcohol-induced mortality.

I compare the alcohol-induced mortality among adults during pre- and post-revision of the Kentucky PDMP from 2007 to 2017 by using a difference-in-differences design. The countylevel alcohol-induced death data was extracted from Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Wide-ranging Online Data for Epidemiologic Research. Missouri was chosen as a comparison state because state-level PDMP have not been existed.

The finding indicated that mandating PDMP use in Kentucky did not enhance alcoholinduced mortality. In conclusion, prescription opioid access restrictions do not appear to result in unintended consequences on alcohol-induced mortality for adults. Therefore, I recommend retaining the mandatory features of Kentucky’s PDMP. This study is the first assessment of alcohol-related adverse events resulting from PDMPs. Further studies should be conducted to evaluate the finding.