Thursday, December 3, 2020
The opioid overdose epidemic remains one of the most urgent public health issues in the United States today, killing 50,000 people every year and contributing to a variety of other health complications. One of the most effective treatments for those with opioid use disorders is opioid agonist treatment (OAT) which utilizes medications to prevent withdrawal, reduce opioid cravings, and enable people experiencing an opioid use disorder to stabilize their lives and reduce harms related to their opioid use. This paper identifies barriers to OAT access and potential solutions to improve OAT uptake in eight sectors: health care, the criminal legal system, family law, housing, zoning, transportation, education and youth, and employment. Learn more.
Cannabis and the 2020 Election: Americans’ Changing Views on Legalization
Even though cannabis is still illegal under federal law; most Americans (91 percent) favor the legalization of cannabis either for medical or recreational use. This is a serious change in public opinion. In 2010, 52 percent of Americans opposed the legalization of cannabis. This more accepting view of cannabis appeared in the 2020 election, with five states legalizing cannabis through ballot measures. With the legalization trend, it is important to understand the legal process behind the ballot measures that have been central to changing state cannabis laws.
Determining Whether Federal Law Prohibits the Mailing of Naloxone
The Network’s Harm Reduction Legal Project 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. One of the questions frequently received by the Project is whether federal law prohibits harm reduction organizations and similar groups who are authorized to distribute naloxone from mailing the medication.
50-State Survey: Harm Reduction Laws in the United States
Drug overdose is a continuing epidemic that claimed the lives of over 67,000 Americans in 2018. Opioids, either alone or in combination with other substances, were responsible for approximately 70 percent of these deaths. Unfortunately, state laws and local rules can make it difficult for people who inject drugs to access lifesaving treatments and supplies, and variations in laws among states can create confusion between both people who inject drugs and people and organizations working to ensure that they have the supplies they need to protect themselves and others. This survey of state laws outlines how the legal landscape in each state may affect access to harm reduction services and supplies.
Guidance: COVID-19 Vaccine and Employer Mandates
With news that at least two COVID-19 vaccines may soon be authorized by the Food and Drug Administration, public and private employers across the U.S. are considering the potential for vaccine requirements for their workforces, especially among health care workers. This resource examines the likelihood of employer vaccine mandates and provides key legal and factual updates for public health officials and employers.
COVID-19 Vaccine Distribution: Legal Issues and Challenges
Thursday, December 10, 2:00 - 3:00 p.m. ET
As the nation awaits the arrival of a COVID-19 vaccine, local and state health officials are making plans to distribute the vaccine. This webinar will examine the legal issues arising from devising equitable and efficient vaccine allocation plans and the process used by governmental agencies when considering recommending a novel vaccine.
National Poll Reveals COVID-19 Language to Overcome Political Divide and Save Lives
How much do political differences affect what people think about COVID-19? According to a new poll conducted by the de Beaumont Foundation, Americans remain divided along party lines about how serious the virus is and what steps should be taken to contain it. The poll also reveals language that political and health leaders can use to reach all audiences, build trust in public health measures, and save lives.
Q&A: How Louisiana Has Retooled its Harm Reduction Services for Vulnerable Populations during COVID-19
As drug overdose deaths accelerate during the COVID-19 pandemic, states are working to ensure that a continuum of services, including access to harm reduction programs, remain available to people with substance use disorder (SUD). For this Q&A, the National Academy for State Health Policy spoke with two leading authorities to learn how Louisiana is partnering with communities to make syringe services programs accessible to those in need, including those coinfected with hepatitis C and HIV.
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The Network for Public Health Law provides information and technical assistance on issues related to public health. The legal information and assistance provided in this document does not constitute legal advice or legal representation. For legal advice, readers should consult a lawyer in their state.