Recovery

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....

When Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro learned that approximately 15 citizens of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania die each day from an overdose, he took action. As a result, in May of 2018, he launched the Law Enforcement Treatment Initiative (LETI) to connect individuals suffering with a substance use disorder (SUD) to treatment resources....

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....

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....

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....

In partnership with the O'Neill Institute for National & Global Health Law at Georgetown University Law Center, the Center for U.S. Policy, and Brown & Weinraub, PLLC, LAPPA developed a model law to assist states in their efforts to maximize funds available to address the overdose crisis. The Model Opioid Litigation Proceeds Act will guide states through the establishment of a dedicated fund, separate from the state’s general treasury fund, that is designated for substance use disorder abatement, including prevention, treatment, recovery, and harm reduction infrastructure, programs, services, supports, and resources. All proceeds received by the state arising out of legal claims made against manufacturers and distributors of prescription opioid analgesics, pharmacies that dispensed prescription opioid analgesics, and related parties shall be deposited into the dedicated fund....

A significant barrier to treatment for individuals struggling with a substance use disorder is the ability to find and access appropriate treatment and recovery services. Hope Not Handcuffs is an initiative that addresses this issue by having law enforcement personnel help those  struggling with a substance use disorder find pathways to treatment without arresting them....