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Holding Hands


The Issue:

One of the key missed opportunities in flattening the curve of America’s overdose crisis is the availability of high quality, affordable, and respectful substance use treatment. As we enter the third decade of the crisis, access to effective treatment remains elusive, especially within institutionalized and congregate care facilities. Numerous consumer protection, constitutional, and fraud-oriented legal levers are available to challenge these dangerous and abusive practices. Obfuscating their responsibility, however, governmental regulators and law enforcement have too often remained on the sidelines.


As part of its work to improve responses to the overdose crisis, the Action Lab in partnership with Justice Catalyst has been actively involved in research, advocacy, and media literacy to improve access to treatment since 2017.  Despite life-or-death stakes, the pace of change has been glacial. In order to catalyze more rapid change, we have recently begun work to deploy civil and criminal law tools as instruments of reform. This has included convening and filing amicus briefs in ongoing cases, research to better understand the landscape of tort litigation against substance use treatment providers, and case preparation of a wrongful death case to onboard a partner litigator whom we convinced to pursue the case. 

Our Projects
Drug Courts, Jails, & Prisons
  • Entity mapping 

  • Compliance check 

  • Enforcement action with DOJ

Litigation Assistance
  • For plaintiffs who were treated with MOUD outside the legal standard of care, or denied their rights under the FHA or ADA

Resources for MOUD Compliance Under the ADA 

Virtual Convening: Legal Tools To Promote Access to Medications for Opioid Use Disorder 

Article Launch with David H. Sinkman and Greg Dorchak 

February 28, 2022

Resources & Fact Sheets

U.S. Department of Justice Civil Rights Division

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