Substance Abuse

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....

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....

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....