Project Title

Drug Related Crimes and Overdoses During the COVID-19 Pandemic

Authors' Affiliations

Janaya Colbert, Department of Psychology, College of Arts and Sciences, East Tennessee State University, Johnson City, TN. Kristin Mahan, Department of Psychology, College of Arts and Sciences, East Tennessee State University, Johnson City, TN. Jill Stinson, Department of Psychology, College of Arts and Sciences, East Tennessee State University, Johnson City, TN.

Location

Culp Ballroom

Start Date

4-7-2022 9:00 AM

End Date

4-7-2022 12:00 PM

Poster Number

126

Faculty Sponsor’s Department

Psychology

Name of Project's Faculty Sponsor

Jill Stinson

Classification of First Author

Undergraduate Student

Competition Type

Competitive

Type

Poster Presentation

Project's Category

Psychology

Abstract or Artist's Statement

Title: Drug Related Crimes and Overdoses during the COVID-19 Pandemic

Format: Poster

Authors: Janaya Colbert, Kristin Mahan, MA, Jill D. Stinson, PhD

Department of Psychology, College of Arts & Sciences, East Tennessee State University, Johnson City, TN

The COVID-19 pandemic affected many aspects of life, including restricting many people to their homes. During the lockdown, more people were isolated inside, which may have resulted in varying levels of drug and substance-related crimes, as well as overdose deaths. Increases in substance misuse may be associated with stress regarding COVID-19, but these events may be less often officially reported during the lockdown. An increase in substance use may also be associated with an increase in overdose deaths. In the present study, we will compare trends of drug and substance related outcomes before and during the pandemic in Tennessee, and differentiate effects between rural and urban counties. Data for this project were obtained from the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation’s (TBI) online incident-based reporting system and the County Health Rankings and Roadmaps online database. Variables of interest include all 95 Tennessee counties, number of driving under the influence (DUI) cases, number of drug/narcotic violation cases, and number of overdose deaths. In 2019, there were 19,556 reported DUI cases and in 2020, there were 17,578 reported DUI cases in Tennessee. In 2019, there were 50,618 reported drug/narcotic violations and in 2020, there were 49,875 reported drug/narcotic violations. In 2019 there were 4,776 reported overdose deaths and 5,097 reported overdose deaths in 2020. Utilizing 2x2 factorial ANOVAs, we will analyze the relationships between county type (i.e., urban vs. rural) and report year (i.e., 2019 vs. 2020) for each outcome of interest. Our hypotheses include: (a) there will be differences between urban and rural counties on the rates of drug and substance related outcomes (i.e., DUI cases, drug/narcotic violation cases, overdose deaths) pre- and mid-pandemic; (b) drug-related crimes and DUI cases decreased during the pandemic when compared to the previous year due to lockdown procedures and decreased ability to access substances; and (c) overdose deaths increased from pre- to mid- pandemic. Anticipated results will help examine how the COVID-19 pandemic has affected rates of drug and substance related crimes, which can help inform prevention and treatment strategies in the future. Additionally, potential discrepancies between rural and urban counties may highlight prevention and treatment disparities for those struggling with substance misuse, which can inform resource allocation within Tennessee.

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Apr 7th, 9:00 AM Apr 7th, 12:00 PM

Drug Related Crimes and Overdoses During the COVID-19 Pandemic

Culp Ballroom

Title: Drug Related Crimes and Overdoses during the COVID-19 Pandemic

Format: Poster

Authors: Janaya Colbert, Kristin Mahan, MA, Jill D. Stinson, PhD

Department of Psychology, College of Arts & Sciences, East Tennessee State University, Johnson City, TN

The COVID-19 pandemic affected many aspects of life, including restricting many people to their homes. During the lockdown, more people were isolated inside, which may have resulted in varying levels of drug and substance-related crimes, as well as overdose deaths. Increases in substance misuse may be associated with stress regarding COVID-19, but these events may be less often officially reported during the lockdown. An increase in substance use may also be associated with an increase in overdose deaths. In the present study, we will compare trends of drug and substance related outcomes before and during the pandemic in Tennessee, and differentiate effects between rural and urban counties. Data for this project were obtained from the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation’s (TBI) online incident-based reporting system and the County Health Rankings and Roadmaps online database. Variables of interest include all 95 Tennessee counties, number of driving under the influence (DUI) cases, number of drug/narcotic violation cases, and number of overdose deaths. In 2019, there were 19,556 reported DUI cases and in 2020, there were 17,578 reported DUI cases in Tennessee. In 2019, there were 50,618 reported drug/narcotic violations and in 2020, there were 49,875 reported drug/narcotic violations. In 2019 there were 4,776 reported overdose deaths and 5,097 reported overdose deaths in 2020. Utilizing 2x2 factorial ANOVAs, we will analyze the relationships between county type (i.e., urban vs. rural) and report year (i.e., 2019 vs. 2020) for each outcome of interest. Our hypotheses include: (a) there will be differences between urban and rural counties on the rates of drug and substance related outcomes (i.e., DUI cases, drug/narcotic violation cases, overdose deaths) pre- and mid-pandemic; (b) drug-related crimes and DUI cases decreased during the pandemic when compared to the previous year due to lockdown procedures and decreased ability to access substances; and (c) overdose deaths increased from pre- to mid- pandemic. Anticipated results will help examine how the COVID-19 pandemic has affected rates of drug and substance related crimes, which can help inform prevention and treatment strategies in the future. Additionally, potential discrepancies between rural and urban counties may highlight prevention and treatment disparities for those struggling with substance misuse, which can inform resource allocation within Tennessee.