The Addiction and Public Policy Initiative works to advance a public health approach to substance use disorders and the opioid epidemic through legal and policy strategies that promote evidence based treatment and recovery.
In collaboration with Business for Impact, the O’Neill Institute hosted a convening of policymakers; experts in addiction treatment, harm reduction, health care and law; people with lived experience; and leaders in law enforcement and criminal justice from across the country to discuss successful models for increasing access to evidence-based treatment and medication in the criminal justice and child welfare systems. The event was a forum for people to learn and to make connections that will help implement programs in local communities to reduce overdose deaths and improve community health and well-being, as well as to advance a public health approach to substance use disorders.
Correctional institutions, courts, and the child welfare system are often the intervention points for people with substance use disorders to receive treatment. People involved in these systems are at a significantly higher risk for overdose death than the general population. Ensuring access to evidence-based treatment in these settings is an immediate measure that will save lives.
Applying the Evidence: Legal and Policy Approaches to Address Opioid Use Disorder in the Criminal Justice and Child Welfare Settings provides recommendations for actions that federal, state and local leaders can take immediately to increase evidence-based practices, decrease arbitrary determinations, and prevent overdose deaths. The report provides concrete steps that will, in the long term, help dismantle a siloed system of unequal access and disparities and move towards an integrated system that promotes restorative justice, where people and families are treated with dignity, and where addiction is treated as a health and wellness matter rather than one of moral failing or criminality.
The Advancing the Evidence project focuses on strategies to advance evidence-based treatment for substance use disorder (SUD) in correctional settings, including access to medication for opioid use disorder. The project includes a moderated listserv which provides a forum to exchange ideas, request advice and recommendations, and share best practices, legislative updates, research, and policies on SUD treatment in corrections. Click here to join the listserv.
In collaboration with the National Governors Association, the O’Neill Institute has produced two publications that can inform other governors’ efforts to prevent infectious disease outbreaks among people who inject opioids and other illicit drugs. Addressing the Rise of Infectious Disease Related to Injection Drug Use: Lessons Learned from Kentucky provides considerations for expanding comprehensive harm reduction, with a focus on the cross-sector partnerships that have been central to Kentucky’s efforts. State Approaches to Addressing the Infectious Disease Consequences of the Opioid Epidemic: Insights from an NGA Learning Lab highlights examples from the seven learning lab states and offers considerations for governors seeking to expand public health surveillance and comprehensive harm reduction.
To request Naloxone Education and Free Distribution in Washington D.C., contact the HOYA DOPE project at firstname.lastname@example.org