Amy Judd Lieberman, J.D., is a senior attorney with the Harm Reduction Legal Project. Before joining the Project, Amy worked briefly in litigation after a fellowship with the National Health Law Program (NHeLP) working on critical issues related to the opioid epidemic and promoting harm reduction practices, specifically in the communities served by Medicaid and Medi-cal. While in law school, she was the president of the Law Students for Sensible Drug Policy chapter, spearheading efforts to educate law students and the community on humane drug policy and harm reduction. She was also an advocate on the Jessup International Moot Court team and a research editor for the UC Irvine Law Review, and she received awards for her pro bono work and her work in the International Justice Clinic, supporting the mandate of the United Nations Special Rapporteur on the promotion and protection of the right to freedom of opinion and expression. Amy received her B.F.A from New York University and her J.D. from the University of California, Irvine School of Law.  She is barred in California and the United States District Court for the Central District of California.

Articles & Resources

Tennessee’s Naloxone Access Law, Explained

Fact SheetHarm Reduction Legal ProjectHarm Reduction Legal Project ResourcesOpioid Misuse and Overdose PreventionTennessee

August 4, 2022
by Amy Lieberman and Corey Davis

In 2021 drug overdose claimed the lives of nearly 108,000 people, and either by themselves or in combination with other drugs or alcohol, opioids were responsible for approximately 75 percent of these deaths. Many of these deaths could have been prevented with the administration of the opioid antagonist naloxone and, where needed, other emergency care. This fact sheet outlines modifications and other changes to laws in Tennessee to increase access to naloxone, including removal of some confusing language that previously limited the impact of state efforts to increase access to lifesaving opioid antagonist medications.

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Legality of Dispensing Naloxone to Minors in California

Fact SheetHarm Reduction Legal ProjectHarm Reduction Legal Project ResourcesOpioid Misuse and Overdose PreventionCalifornia

July 14, 2022
by Amy Lieberman and Corey Davis

There are many reasons a person under the age of 18 may wish to obtain the life-saving overdose reversal medication naloxone or another opioid antagonist. Substance use disorders often develop in adolescence, and around 10 percent of overdoses nationally occur in youth and young adults below 26 years old.  In 2020, over 15 percent (874 out of 5,502) overdose deaths in California occurred in individuals under the age of 25.  Additionally, individuals under the age of 18 may be able to intervene in the overdose of an adult, such as a friend or family member. This fact sheet examines the legality of dispensing naloxone to minors in California.

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Legality of Expired Naloxone in Tennessee

Fact SheetHarm Reduction Legal ProjectHarm Reduction Legal Project ResourcesOpioid Misuse and Overdose PreventionTennessee

July 14, 2022
by Amy Lieberman and Corey Davis

All 50 states and the District of Columbia have modified their laws to increase access to naloxone, the standard first-line treatment for opioid overdose. While these laws have been successful in increasing access to this lifesaving medication, few explicitly address the legality of distributing and administering naloxone that is past its expiration date. This fact sheet discusses whether Tennessee laws forbid the prescription, dispensing, distribution, possession, or administration of expired naloxone and whether medical professionals and others who take such actions might be held liable.  

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Tougher Criminal Penalties Won’t End Overdose Deaths

Law & Policy InsightsHarm Reduction Legal ProjectMechanisms for Advancing Health Equity

June 2, 2022
by Amy Lieberman

In 2021, nearly 108,000 people in the U.S. died of a drug overdose; around 75 percent of those overdoses involved an opioid, largely driven by the increased presence of synthetic opioids, like fentanyl and fentanyl analogues, in the nation’s illicit drug supply. While many jurisdictions are making moves toward evidence-based harm reduction measures to save lives, others are increasing penalties for those who possess and sell fentanyl.

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National Minority Health Month: Raising Awareness and Encouraging Action to Address Health Disparities

Law & Policy InsightsCOVID-19 and Health EquityMechanisms for Advancing Health Equity

May 4, 2022
by Amy Lieberman, Blair Inniss and Erica White

National Minority Health Month was observed in April — which marked its 20th year — to emphasize and highlight initiatives aimed at improving health outcomes for racial and ethnic minority groups. This year, severe public health threats including the Covid-19 pandemic, opioid epidemic, high rates of substance abuse, and ongoing housing crises highlight the underlying disparities in U.S. health care and other policies, emphasizing the need to focus on these issues to achieve the best health outcomes for all.

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Legality of Dispensing and Administering Expired Naloxone in Texas

Fact SheetHarm Reduction Legal ProjectHarm Reduction Legal Project ResourcesOpioid Misuse and Overdose PreventionTexas

April 21, 2022
by Amy Lieberman and Corey Davis

In response to the ongoing opioid overdose crisis, all 50 states and the District of Columbia have modified their laws to increase access to naloxone, the standard first-line treatment for opioid overdose. While these laws have been successful in increasing access to this lifesaving medication, few explicitly address the legality of distributing and administering naloxone that is past its expiration date. These fact sheets discuss the efficacy of expired naloxone in Kentucky and Texas and whether the relative laws in each state permit the distribution and administration of such naloxone.

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Legality of Dispensing and Administering Expired Naloxone in Kentucky

Fact SheetHarm Reduction Legal ProjectHarm Reduction Legal Project ResourcesOpioid Misuse and Overdose PreventionKentucky

April 21, 2022
by Amy Lieberman and Corey Davis

In response to the ongoing opioid overdose crisis, all 50 states and the District of Columbia have modified their laws to increase access to naloxone, the standard first-line treatment for opioid overdose. While these laws have been successful in increasing access to this lifesaving medication, few explicitly address the legality of distributing and administering naloxone that is past its expiration date. These fact sheets discuss the efficacy of expired naloxone in Kentucky and Texas and whether the relative laws in each state permit the distribution and administration of such naloxone.

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The Network for Public Health Law’s Harm Reduction Legal Project Receives Renewed Funding from Arnold Ventures

Network NewsHarm Reduction Legal ProjectHarm Reduction Legal Project ResourcesSubstance Use Prevention and Harm ReductionOpioid Misuse and Overdose Prevention

February 16, 2022
by Amy Lieberman and Corey Davis

Arnold Ventures has renewed funding support for the Network for Public Health Law’s Harm Reduction Legal Project, which works to address the legal and policy barriers that impede the establishment and expansion of evidence-based harm reduction measures such as naloxone distribution, syringe access programs, and access to evidence-based substance use disorder treatment.

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Addressing the Inequitable Distribution of the Life-Saving Overdose Drug Naloxone: Could Vending Machines be an Answer?

Law & Policy InsightsHarm Reduction Legal ProjectOpioid Misuse and Overdose PreventionSubstance Use Prevention and Harm Reduction

February 9, 2022
by Amy Lieberman

Despite state efforts, disparities in access to the life-saving overdose reversal drug naloxone are widespread.  People of color and those experiencing homelessness face numerous barriers to obtaining naloxone, which is especially concerning given that from 2018 to 2019, overdose deaths for non-Hispanic Black individuals increased 40 percent, while deaths remained stable among individuals of other races and ethnicities. One innovative way to improve access is through the use of naloxone vending machines, an approach currently in use in a number of prisons and jails. 

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International Day of Persons with Disabilities: Law and Policy Developments Affecting the Disability Community

Law & Policy InsightsInjury Prevention and SafetyMechanisms for Advancing Health EquityMedicaidSubstance Use Prevention and Harm Reduction

December 2, 2021
by Amy Lieberman, Colleen Healy Boufides and Morgan Jones-Axtell

International Day of Persons with Disabilities is observed annually to promote awareness and support for the rights and wellbeing of people with disabilities. One in four adults in the United States have a disability, and solutions to advance accessibility, inclusion, and equity must account for the diversity of experiences among people with disabilities. To mark the occasion, Network attorneys highlight recent law and policy developments related to health equity, sexual orientation, and gender identity. 

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