Substance Abuse

“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....

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....

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....

All across the U.S. jails are filled with people who need medical care and social services, many of whom cycle in and out of jail without ever receiving the help they need. One emerging model to combat this problem is deflection, which seeks to prevent individuals who have low to moderate criminogenic risk, but significant unmet social, economic, and health needs, from entering the criminal justice system. The goal of deflection programs is to lessen the burden on the criminal justice system by connecting those individuals—before they enter the criminal justice system—to treatment and social services to which they might not otherwise have access. This document is designed to: (1) provide a singular resource for each jurisdiction’s deflection laws; (2) allow for a comparison of these laws between jurisdictions; and (3) identify and highlight interesting provisions....

A newly released report from the United States Department of Justice indicates that among all state and federal prisoners, nearly four in 10 self-reported using drugs and three in 10 self-reported consuming alcohol, at the time of the offense for which they are currently serving a sentence in a correctional facility. Many of those individuals meet the clinical definition of having a substance or alcohol use disorder - 40% for substance use and just over 20% for alcohol. Of that population, 33% of state and 46% of federal prisoners, who met the criteria for having a substance or alcohol use disorder, reported participating in a treatment program after their admission to a correctional facility....