Prescription Drugs

The Addiction and Public Policy Initiative at the O’Neill Institute for National and Global Health Law was established in 2018 through a generous grant from Arnold Ventures. Housed at Georgetown Law, the Addiction and Public Policy Initiative works at the intersection of public health and the law to advance a public health approach to substance use disorder and the overdose epidemic through legal and policy strategies that promote evidence-based treatment, harm reduction, and recovery. This reports highlights O'Neill's accomplishments over the last five years....

These fact sheets provide guidance for overdose fatality review (OFR) teams, public safety and public health agencies utilizing the Overdose Detection Mapping Application Program (ODMAP), and law enforcement deflection partnership efforts on what can and cannot be legally shared regarding federal law (such as 42 Code of Federal Regulations [CFR] Part 2 and the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act [HIPAA]). ...

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....

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....

This fact sheet addresses the issue of drug diversion in health care settings. Drug diversion is defined as any criminal act or deviation that removes a prescription drug from its intended path from the manufacturer to the patient, and while the act of diversion can occur in a variety of settings and be committed by anyone, it is particularly likely to occur in healthcare settings by healthcare workers due to the ease in which they can access prescription drugs. Drug diversion in health care is a serious issue that can result in patient harm, financial loss to the healthcare entity, and civil and criminal litigation based on the perpetrator’s actions....

The purpose of this report was to assess immediate and sustained changes in overall illicit substance ingestion rates among children younger than six before and during the COVID-19 pandemic and to examine changes by substance type, including amphetamines, benzodiazepines, cannabis, cocaine, ethanol, and, opioids. Researchers concluded that there was a sustained increase in illicit substance ingestion during the pandemic and that additional studies are needed to contextualize these findings in the setting of pandemic-related stress....

In the beginning of 2022, the West Virginia Drug Intervention Institute, the West Virginia Collegiate Recovery Network, and Marshall University, a public research university in Huntington, West Virginia, launched an overdose prevention initiative on every public and private college campus in West Virginia. The program, entitled, “Be The One” focuses on opioid overdose prevention from a bystander’s perspective, encouraging students, staff, and faculty to “be the one” to save a life....

Millions of people throughout the world use social media platforms (or “apps”) providing an easy avenue to reach a large number of people. Legitimate businesses are not the only ones to use social media apps as a marketing tool. In recent years, drug dealers have turned to such apps to solicit buyers and arrange sales. This fact sheet examines the growing use of social media, by drug suppliers, to surreptitiously advertise to a wide audience, by using apps that offer encrypted or disappearing messages....