Public Health

The Law Enforcement and Other First Responder Deflection (Act), drafted in collaboration with the Police, Treatment, and Community Collaborative (PTACC), encourages the use and establishment of deflection programs on the state level. Specifically, the model act (1) authorizes law enforcement and other first responders to develop and implement collaborative deflection programs that provide proactive policing to assist individuals who are at risk; (2) offers pathways to treatment, recovery services, housing, medication for addiction treatment, whole family services, and other needed supports; (3) requires deflection programs to have certain threshold elements to be eligible to receive grant funding; and (4) requires agencies establishing deflection programs to develop comprehensive memoranda of understanding in conjunction with, and agreed to by, all deflection program partners....

“Stigma” is defined as stereotypes or negative views attributed to a person or groups of people whose characteristics or behaviors are viewed as different from, or inferior to, societal norms. Surveys of public attitudes about various stigmatizing conditions indicate that individuals with a substance use disorder are viewed more negatively than individuals with a mental disorder. This report, released in collaboration with Rulo Strategies LLC, explores efforts to reduce stigma towards individuals with a substance use disorder in public safety and justice settings....

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....

The 2022 AMA-Manatt Toolkit builds on a previously published roadmap by providing actionable resources that states can use to take specific actions in six policy areas: (1) Increase access to evidence-based treatments to help patients with a substance use disorder (SUD); (2) Ensure access to addiction medicine, psychiatry, and other trained physicians; (3) Enforce mental health and substance use disorder (SUD) parity laws; (4) Improve access to multidisciplinary, multimodal care for patients with pain; (5) Expand harm reduction efforts to reduce death and disease; and (6) Improve monitoring and evaluation....

The Bloomberg School of Public Health at Johns Hopkins University recently released a three-part report about the multi-district opioid litigation that has been making its way through the court system for many years. Part 1 of the trilogy, focuses on a series of principles governing the use of the settlement funds: (1) spending money to save lives; (2) using evidence to guide spending; (3) investing in youth prevention; (4) focusing on racial equity; and (5) developing a fair and transparent process for deciding where to spend the funding....

The Model Syringe Services Program Act (Act) authorizes the establishment of comprehensive syringe services programs, which are associated with a decrease in bloodborne infectious disease diagnoses as well as the number of needlestick injuries to first responders and others. This Act delineates the required components for syringe services programs operating within a state, including that such programs (1) directly provide, or offer referrals to, expanded services, such as substance use disorder treatment, including medications for addiction treatment, HIV and viral hepatitis testing and treatment services, access to opioid antagonist kits, health care services, and mental health services; (2) reduce needlestick injuries to law enforcement, emergency services personnel, sanitation workers, and members of the community; (3) provide data collection and reporting requirements for syringe services programs; (4) provide immunity from criminal arrest, charge, and prosecution for the possession, distribution, or furnishing of hypodermic needles and syringes and other supplies; (5) provide educational and training materials for members of the community, including law enforcement and other first responders, such as emergency medical services; and (6) provide for funding of syringe services programs....

LAPPA’s Model Expanded Access to Emergency Opioid Antagonists Act provides state officials with the means to increase the ability of their citizens to access and use life-saving emergency opioid antagonists. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that over 934,000 Americans died from a fatal overdose involving an opioid between 1999 and 2020. Opioid antagonists, such as naloxone, can be used during emergencies to reverse opioid overdoses and are effective in preventing fatal drug overdoses. This Act: (1) enables all citizens to access emergency opioid antagonists; (2) encourages citizens to obtain emergency opioid antagonists; (3) grants immunity to individuals who administer opioid antagonists; (4) requires physicians to co-prescribe an emergency opioid antagonist when prescribing an opioid to someone; (5) ensures that health insurance covers emergency opioid antagonists, like naloxone; (6) prohibits discriminatory life and health insurance practices related to the possession of emergency opioid antagonists; (7) provides increased access to opioid antagonists in educational institutions and correctional settings; (8) establishes a pilot program to increase bystander access to emergency opioid antagonists; and (9) promotes initiatives that educate citizens on the life-saving potential of emergency opioid antagonists....