Advancing a public health approach to substance use disorders and the overdose epidemic through legal and policy strategies that promote evidence-based treatment and support recovery.


The Addiction and Public Policy Initiative works with physicians, researchers, government officials, advocates, people with lived experience, and others to advance public policy that promotes a public health approach to substance use disorders. We seek to distill research into actionable steps so that policymakers can develop evidence-based strategies to address addiction, increase equitable access to care, and support recovery.

Our Work

Our research prioritizes turning evidence into practical and targeted policy recommendations that can save lives, particularly in settings where people are at a higher risk of overdose and death. In crafting these recommendations, we center the voices of people with lived experience in the policymaking process and believe that they should inform policy decisions at all levels. We also seek to build and develop the next generation of leaders in policy around substance use disorders through training, fellowships, academic programs, and collaborative discussions.

Over 92,000 drug overdose deaths occurred in the United States in the 12-month period ending in November 2020.

Formerly incarcerated individuals are between 10 and 40 times more likely to die of an opioid overdose than the general population.

An estimated 22 million Americans are in recovery from a substance use disorder.

Our Team See All

LaBelle, Regina Headshot

Regina LaBelle Director (On Leave)

Shelly Weizman's headshot

Shelly Weizman Acting Director (On Leave)

Sonia Canzater Headshot

Sonia L. Canzater Associate Director

Taleed El-Sabawi Headshot

Taleed El-Sabawi Research Scholar

Jennifer Oliva Headshot

Jennifer D. Oliva Senior Scholar

Somer Brown Headshot

Somer Brown Fellow

Our Projects See All