RESOURCES

IMPROVING CANNABIS REFORM

DRUG-INDUCED HOMICIDE

Resources & Publications

Resources & Publications

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CNN, JULY 16, 2018

"This case is emblematic of what role the system plays, and there are a lot of things the system does that is counterproductive from a public health standpoint," said Leo Beletsky, an associate professor of law and health sciences at Northeastern University who contributed to an amicus brief in the Eldred case. Beletsky thinks jail or prison provides only limited assistance for some people with drug problems. "It's important to keep in mind that recovery is an ongoing process rather than a discrete terminal event," he said.

Resources & Publications

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NBC NEWS, APRIL 18, 2018

"This is an “unequivocally positive” step forward, said Leo Beletsky, an associate professor of law and health sciences at Northeastern University."

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PROPUBLICA, MARCH 13, 2018

“It really comes down to the fact that our country functions on a totally silly patchwork system” of tracking causes of death, said Leo Beletsky, an associate professor of law and health sciences at Northeastern University. “It’s a question of data speed, but it’s also a question of data quality.”

DRUG-INDUCED HOMICIDE

Resources & Publications

In the Media

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THE APPEAL, NOVEMBER 2, 2018

The disparate impact of drug-induced homicide laws on people of color is a reminder that despite the newfound compassion, American drug policy still punishes people with substance use disorder.

PRESCRIPTION DRUG MONITORING PROGRAMS

Resources & Publications

This analysis illustrates an urgent opportunity to critically re-assess the architecture and mechanisms of drug control in the U.S., reframing criminal justice reform as a public health imperative vital to improving the response to the worst drug crisis in America’s history.

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In the Media

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THE MARSHALL PROJECT, AUGUST 2, 2017

"...Once you’re rebuked by a provider based on PDMP data, that influences how patients decide to seek help or not seek help,” Beletsky says. “The collateral harm from that is you’re cutting people out of the health care system at a time when they’re most vulnerable.”

INVOLUNTARY COMMITMENT FOR SUBSTANCE USE

Resources & Publications

Expanding

Coercive

Treatment is the

 Wrong Solution 

for the

Opioid Crisis 

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Involuntary Treatment for Substance Use Disorder: A Misguided Response to the Opioid Crisis

This is a great place to tell your story and give people more insight into who you are, what you do, and why it’s all about you.

Harvard Health Publishing

Treatment of drug dependence can be effective in several ways, including reduction or elimination of illicit drug use, the health damages associated with drug use, and the harms to society. While it is generally accepted that many forms of treatment provide these benefits for people who volunteer for treatment, the evidence on the effectiveness of treatment that involves coercion by the state is less well established.

Alex Stevens, PhD
University of Kent School of Social Policy, Sociology, and Social Research

In the Media

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NPR, JULY 16, 2018

"In many ways it's high time for us to revise how the law considers addiction," Beletsky said. "If you say someone dealing with addiction isn't capable of making decisions and we can lock them up to pursue treatment, we can't then say on the criminalization side that people with addiction retain control over their decisions."

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"US Investigating Treatment of Addicted Prisoners in MA"

BOSTON GLOBE, MARCH 29, 2018

“There is going to be a national move on the part of the US Department of Justice to start addressing these blatant violations of the Americans with Disabilities Act,” Beletsky said. Policies opposing medication-assisted treatment “are baked in stigma,” Beletsky said. “They’re not based on any scientific rationale.”

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NPR, OCTOBER 10, 2017

Leo Beletsky: "And the fact that people are in the state's care being administered treatment modalities that are not in fact rooted in science is shocking."

ROLE OF POLICE IN OVERDOSE RESPONSE

In the Media

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"The Federal Agency That Fuels The Opioid Crisis"

LEO BELETSKY & JEREMIAH GOULKA

NY TIMES, SEPTEMBER 17, 2018

The Drug Enforcement Administration, the agency that most directly oversees access to opioids, deserves much of the blame for these deaths. Because of its incompetence, the opioid crisis has gone from bad to worse. The solution: overhauling the agency, or even getting rid of it entirely.

CHANGING THE NARRATIVE

Resources & Publications

ASLME, Jul. 2018

Despite shifts in rhetoric and some positive movement, Americans with the disease of addiction are still often stigmatized, criminalized, and denied access to evidence-based care. We present in this brief article evidence-based and promising practices for improving and refocusing the response to this simmering public health crisis.

Opioid Crisis:

AJPH Perspectives, Feb. 2018

Opioid Crisis:

Criminal Justice, Summer 2019

In the Media

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NEWS @ NORTHEASTERN, JANUARY 8, 2019

“Substance use disorder is a diagnosable and treatable illness, yet one of the only ones that people are still jailed for having. [...] We don’t ask local sheriffs how they plan to tackle obesity or climate change in their community, but they’re frequently quoted as experts on this issue because addiction occupies this dueling category of crime and illness.”

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LAW360, FEBRUARY 1, 2019

"There is a real risk here that a lot of this is about political posturing and not actually redressing the harms, and that’s what I worry about.”
 

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THE CRIME REPORT, DECEMBER 12, 2018

Leo Beletsky: The government crackdown on prescribers an example of picking on "the lowest hanging fruit." Federal actions have largely ended up "ensnaring a lot of vulnerable people" who, if anything, represented minor players in a crisis that was fueled in part by the activities of major pharmaceutical firms.

HARM REDUCTION LAW & POLICY

In the Media

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NBC NEWS, APRIL 18, 2018

"This is an “unequivocally positive” step forward, said Leo Beletsky, an associate professor of law and health sciences at Northeastern University."

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