Opioids

In this document, the Legislative Analysis and Public Policy Association examines state-level legislative and administrative responses to the public health risk posed by expired and unused prescription medications. In the last several years, states, in coordination with the Federal Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) have enacted legislation or promulgated administrative regulations to authorize drug take-back programs where expired or unused pharmaceuticals can be collected from the public by authorized persons and disposed of in a safe manner. Findings are presented by state for ease of comparison....

Kratom is an herb derived from a leafy Southeast Asian tree and contains two psychoactive compounds that can bind to opioid receptors in the brain and produce a pharmacological response similar to effects produced by other opioid agonists, such as morphine. As of July 2022, 18 states and the District of Columbia regulate kratom - this document (1) provides a singular resource for each jurisdiction’s laws; (2) allows for a comparison of these laws between jurisdictions; and (3) identifies and highlight interesting provisions....

In an effort to save lives, states have implemented laws to make it easier for first responders and the general public to obtain naloxone. Additionally, to encourage people to assist an individual who is or may be suffering an overdose, the majority of states also enacted laws which protect laypeople who administer naloxone, in good faith, in an emergency from civil and/or criminal liability. The Legislative Analysis and Public Policy Association (LAPPA) undertook an extensive research project to determine the current status of naloxone access laws throughout the United States, including the District of Columbia and all U.S. territories. As of August 2020, all 50 states and the District of Columbia have some form of a naloxone access law. ...

Research indicates that there is often a reluctance among those witnessing an overdose to summon emergency assistance from law enforcement or other first responders out of fear of arrest for drug possession or other charges. In an effort to reduce this fear and to encourage overdose witnesses to seek help, state policymakers developed Good Samaritan laws specific to drug overdoses. The purpose of these laws is to prioritize the overdose victim’s safety over arresting drug users by granting limited protection from criminal liability to persons seeking medical assistance and, in most cases, to the overdose victim. The Legislative Analysis and Public Policy Association (LAPPA) recently undertook an extensive research project to determine the current status of Good Samaritan fatal overdose prevention laws throughout the United States, including the District of Columbia and all U.S. territories....

Recovery residences provide a sober, safe, and healthy living environment that promotes recovery from alcohol and other drug use and associated problems. These residences are commonly referred to by a number of names, including sober living houses, sober living environments, and recovery homes, and their primary purpose is to provide a home-like environment for individuals in recovery from substance use disorder to help sustain that recovery....

In this survey, the Legislative Analysis and Public Policy Association (LAPPA) examines the policy response at the state level to the spread of pill presses used to create counterfeit drugs. There is relatively little policy in this area compared to federal law, and most innovation is relatively recent.  Findings are presented jurisdiction by jurisdiction for easy comparison among states and between current state- and federal law....

The COVID-19 pandemic created an unprecedented public health emergency throughout the world, prompting providers to turn to telehealth to provide necessary health care to patients at a distance. This paper analyzes the current state of telehealth services at the federal and state levels, as well as the benefits and limitations of telehealth technology use. It also offers public policy recommendations to improve telehealth services in the United States....

Syringe services programs (SSP) are harm reduction programs that provide a wide range of services including, but not typically limited to, the provision of new, unused hypodermic needles and syringes and other injection drug use supplies, such as cookers, tourniquets, alcohol wipes, and sharps waste disposal containers, to people who inject drugs. In this summary, readers will find information with respect to SSPs for each state, including citations to applicable statutes and/or regulations, whether the state allows SSPs by statute, whether there are any municipal or county ordinances or regulations in place within the state, program components, miscellaneous provisions, and information on any pending legislation....