Collateral Consequences of Criminalizing Substance Use Disorder

Law & Policy InsightsSubstance Use Prevention and Harm ReductionHarm Reduction Legal ProjectLegislation and Legal Challenges

July 25, 2023
by Ashleigh Dennis and Corey Davis

The “War on Drugs” could better be described as a “War on People.” In addition to obvious negative impacts such as incarceration and increases in drug-related harm, this “War” also leads to collateral consequences that can last for years —or even a lifetime. Collateral consequences are legal barriers resulting from a person’s conviction in addition to incarceration, parole or probation, and fines and fees.

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Innovative Laws and Policies for Public Health: How Insights from Public Health Departments Shaped an Analysis of Forward-Looking Policies

Law & Policy InsightsCOVID-19Mechanisms for Advancing Public HealthLegislation and Legal ChallengesPublic Health Funding and Infrastructure

July 25, 2023
by Jill Krueger

The Network for Public Health Law’s report, Innovative Law and Policy Strategies for a Post-Pandemic Public Health System, which highlights examples of laws and legal levers implemented across the country that strengthen public health, was inspired and shaped in large part by three questions raised by public health practitioners in the field in three different states.

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As One State Strides Forward on Evidence-Based Drug Policy, Another Slides Back

Law & Policy InsightsSubstance Use Prevention and Harm ReductionHarm Reduction Legal Project

June 28, 2023
by Corey Davis

Unlike how they regulate the far more deadly drug products tobacco and alcohol, states overwhelmingly continue to treat individuals who use illicit drugs as criminals, and state law is oriented towards arresting, prosecuting, and incarcerating them. A few states, however, have made more significant changes, and some have made less drastic but still important changes.

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Short- and Long-Term Considerations in Reducing the Environmental Harms of Waste from Tobacco Products

Law & Policy InsightsInjury Prevention and SafetyEnvironment, Climate and Health

June 14, 2023

Tobacco product waste represents environmentally damaging single-use plastic in the form of cigarette butts and electronic smoking devices. Efforts on a global and national level are underway to address these harms, including interesting examples of novel litter laws from Maine and California to Singapore and Rwanda.

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Network for Public Health Law Comments on Proposed HIPAA Privacy Rule to Bolster Privacy of Reproductive Health Information

Network NewsPublic Health Information Management, Privacy and SecurityReproductive Health and Equity 

June 1, 2023

The Network supports the proposed changes to the HIPAA Privacy Rule to bolster privacy of reproductive health information and provide our comments outlining further suggestions and support. Protecting the privacy of reproductive health information is paramount to preventing inequitable enforcement of state laws criminalizing health care access.

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Addressing Indoor Air Quality through Model Law

Law & Policy InsightsCOVID-19COVID-19 ResourcesEnvironment, Climate and HealthPreventing and Treating Communicable ConditionsMonitoring Property and the Built Environment

May 30, 2023
by Erica White and James G. Hodge, Jr.

Many Americans spend approximately 90 percent of their time indoors where the concentration of pollutants is two to five times higher than outdoors. Existing laws regulating indoor air quality are inconsistent and incomplete. In response a team of scientists, policymakers, and legal drafters is in the process of crafting a Model State Indoor Air Quality Act.

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Public Health Agencies and What Woulda-Coulda-Mighta Helped Them Access SUD Records

Law & Policy InsightsHealth Information and Data SharingSubstance Use Prevention and Harm Reduction

May 30, 2023
by Chris Alibrandi O’Connor and Denise Chrysler

Public health agencies often find access to substance use disorder (SUD) data records especially challenging. Through the CARES Act, Congress harmonizes certain provisions of HIPAA and 42 CFR Part 2 —both of which governs disclosure of SUD records —and requires that HHS continue these efforts through rulemaking.

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Office for Civil Rights Announces Proposed Modifications to HIPAA to Protect Reproductive Health Data

Law & Policy InsightsHealth Information and Data SharingReproductive Health and Equity 

May 24, 2023
by Stephen Murphy

A notice of proposed changes to the HIPAA Privacy Rule was recently issued to bolster the privacy of protected health information (PHI) relating to reproductive health care. The proposed changes are the latest in a series of steps by the Biden administration addressing privacy of reproductive health information following the Supreme Court's Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization decision last summer. This post takes a closer look at the proposed changes to HIPAA.

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