Public Safety

Given the increased emphasis in recent years on using harm reduction strategies to stem the overdose crisis, the hurdle posed by state drug paraphernalia laws to establishing syringe services programs or distributing and using testing equipment is not inconspicuous. Accordingly, LAPPA undertook this research project to identify both currently-in-force statutes and recently proposed legislation, throughout all 50 states and the District of Columbia, concerning the treatment of needles, syringes, and testing equipment under state drug paraphernalia laws. ...

In September 2021, Georgetown University Law Center convened an Opioid Litigation Summit. This convening brought together numerous experts to discuss legal, administrative, and programmatic strategies needed to optimize the impact of proceeds from the opioid litigation. The themes described in this brief emerged from the Summit and can be applied to the opioid litigation as well as future mass tort litigation to address public health crises....

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....

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 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....

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....

In this survey, the Legislative Analysis and Public Policy Association (LAPPA) examines the state-level legislative response to drugged driving. In Section I, it presents the existing laws on driving under the influence of drugs in the 50 states and the District of Columbia. Section II highlights a selection of additional resources for policymakers on drugged driving research and policy proposals in the United States. These resources include scientific studies, such as the latest research on the physiological effects of certain substances on drivers and the effectiveness of new testing methods and policy analysis, including recommendations from the U.S. Department of Justice on how to effectively detect and prosecute drugged driving. Together they illuminate the evolving landscape of drugged driving in the United States and the potential remedies that can keep Americans safe on the roads....