ACADEMIC RESEARCH & PUBLICATIONS
NATIONAL ACADEMY OF MEDICINE, SEPTEMBER 9,2019
Those working on changing the course of the opioid crisis cannot afford to overlook simple solutions that could bring timely, positive results. Changing the policies that impact buprenorphine prescribing could have immediate impacts on access to opioid addiction treatment, resulting in fewer opioid-related deaths and decreasing the economic burden of this crisis by billions of dollars. Over 49,000 people died from opioid-related overdose in 2017 and the financial cost of the opioid crisis is estimated to be 500 billion dollars per year.
THE JOURNAL OF LAW, MEDICINE & ETHICS, JULY 12, 2019
States have implemented a variety of legal and policy approaches to address the overdose epidemic. Some approaches, like increasing access to naloxone and connecting overdose survivors with evidence-based treatment, have a strong public health foundation and a compelling evidence base. Others, like increasing reliance on punitive criminal justice approaches, have neither. This article examines law and policy changes that are likely to be effective in reducing overdose-related harm as well as those that are likely to increase it.
N ENGL J MED, AUGUST 29, 2019
The ongoing overdose crisis has spared no demographic, professional, or geographic stratum. Although efforts to bring substance use disorder and its treatment out of the shadows have made substantial inroads, outdated thinking, policies, and practices persist.
SSRN, JUNE 12, 2019
Laws and their enforcement act as structural determinants of health. Among people who inject drugs (PWID) in numerous global settings, police encounters (e.g. syringe confiscation, physical assault) have been associated with health harms. However, these relationships have not yet been systematically assessed. We conducted a systematic literature review to quantify the contribution of policing to HIV risk among PWID.
HEALTH AND HUMAN RIGHTS JOURNAL, JUNE 2019
Globally, punitive drug law enforcement drives human rights violations. Drug control tactics, such as syringe confiscation and drug-related arrests, also cascade into health harms among people who use drugs. The role of police officer characteristics in shaping such enforcement and measures to reform police practices remains underexamined. We evaluated gender differences in syringe confiscation and syringe-related arrest behaviors among municipal police officers in Tijuana, Mexico, where syringe possession is legal. In the context of the SHIELD Study focusing on aligning policing with harm reduction measures, our baseline sample covered municipal police officers who reported having occupational contact with syringes.
AMERICAN JOURNAL OF PUBLIC HEALTH, MAY 8, 2019
To assess how instructional techniques affect officers’ intent to communicate syringe legality during searches in Tijuana, Mexico, where pervasive syringe confiscation potentiates risk of HIV and HCV among people who inject drugs (PWID) and of occupational needle-stick injury among police.
INT'L JOURNAL OF DRUG POLICY, MAY 2019
As overdose deaths have increased in the United States, some lawmakers have explored punitive, “supply-side” interventions aimed at reducing the supply of fentanyl. While a rationale of seeking to protect people who use drugs is often given to justify harsh sentences for fentanyl distribution, there is no research to our knowledge on perceptions of the effect of drug-induced homicide laws among people who use drugs.
PLOS MEDICINE, NOVEMBER 26, 2019
The current United States opioid overdose crisis is a complex, multifaceted, public health emergency that urgently requires the implementation of evidence-based primary, secondary, and tertiary preventive interventions. We develop a typology of the stigma related to opioid use, showing how multiple dimensions of stigma continue to fundamentally hinder the response to the crisis.
HEALTH AFFAIRS BLOG, SEPTEMBER 26, 2019
As the opioid litigation draws towards its conclusion, we have an opportunity to apply lessons learned from past mistakes, potentially saving thousands of lives. If the settlements are to help, they must do more than compensate jurisdictions for past costs or ease future budgetary pressures. They even have to do more than make the Sacklers pay for their misdeeds. Rather, if the states and localities that have brought the cases truly wish to redress the problem and prevent another crisis, they must direct funds into structural reforms that genuinely advance the health of the public.
UTAH LAW REVIEW, 2019
Nearing the end of its second decade, the overdose crisis in the United States continues to claim tens of thousands of lives. Despite the rhetorical emphasis on a “public health” approach, criminal law and its enforcement continue to play a central role among policy responses to this crisis. A legacy of the 1980s War on Drugs, statutory provisions that implicate drug distributors in overdose fatalities are on the books in many U.S. jurisdictions and federally. This Article articulates an interdisciplinary critique of these “drug-induced homicide” laws at a time of their increased popularity, expanding scope, and aggressive prosecution. That these policy mechanisms are deployed under the banner of overdose prevention invites a critical public health lens to their reexamination.