Local Policymaker Perceptions of the Opioid Crisis and the Efficacy of Extension Communications
See proposal abstract
Principal Investigator: Daniel Bergan, Michigan State University
Co-Principal Investigator: Hillary Shulman, Ohio State University
How accurate are local policymaker perceptions of the opiate epidemic in their communities? What types of evidence are most useful to local policymakers in making judgments about the severity of the opiate epidemic and the effectiveness of local policies meant to address opiate abuse? We plan to measure local policymaker perceptions and attitudes about the opiate epidemic in their communities, comparing policymaker responses to objective data about the local impacts of the opiate epidemic. We also plan to explore the impact of evidence about the opioid crisis on policymaker perceptions of the prevalence of opioid-related problems in their community, perceived importance of the issue, and support for potential policy solutions. To answer these questions, we will use a unique field experimental design and an online survey of local policymakers in Michigan and Ohio. We will randomly assign policymakers to receive policy-relevant evidence, including locally tailored data on how the opiate epidemic affects their community, as well as reviews of the academic literature on opiate policy as well as narrative evidence about the success or failures of a variety of local opiate-related policies in jurisdictions across the Midwest. We will follow-up with an online survey of policymaker perceptions and attitudes about substance abuse policy.