Network Report


Legal Interventions to Reduce Drug Overdose

Opioid overdose is at epidemic levels in the United States. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, fatal drug poisonings, most of which are drug overdoses, increased nearly 600 percent from 1980 to 2008. States and localities have implemented a number of legal and regulatory interventions to address this epidemic, including expanded naloxone access and Good Samaritan laws, as well as prescription drug monitoring programs and substance abuse treatment parity requirements.

Learn more about overdose prevention laws and resources.

Current Issues in Public Health Law

Naloxone in the News

More cities and states are expanding access to naloxone, a drug that can reverse the effects of an opioid overdose. From new laws that allow more responders to administer the drug, to the distribution of naloxone kits and the FDA’s approval of a naloxone delivery device, reports indicate that the medication is becoming a widely known, and accepted, antidote for drug overdose.

More on naloxone access.

Spotlight on Heroin Epidemic Leaves Many Victims in the Dark

Drug addiction and related deaths are needless and heartbreaking in any community, yet these issues have faced communities of color — especially poor communities of color — for decades. The current spotlight on the heroin overdose epidemic illustrates the ongoing need to address health disparities.

Read more on health disparities and the overdose epidemic.

Upcoming Webinars

Expanding Medical Marijuana Laws: Current Policies and Implications for Public Health

Twenty-one states and Washington D.C. have legalized medical marijuana and eight other states are considering legislation in 2014. As medical marijuana laws expand, state governments and health departments have the daunting task of developing rules and regulations. This webinar will provide an overview of the current public health and legal landscape of medical marijuana; examine patient registries, adolescent use, drugged driving and other health and policy concerns; and explore the evaluation of current laws and possible strategies to protect public health. The webinar takes place on May 19, at 1:00 p.m. (ET).

Learn more and register for the Medical Marijuana Laws Webinar.

Advancing Tribal Public Health through Law

The role of tribal public health law is vital for the future of tribal populations given significant health disparities that continue to affect the lives of tribal members. This webinar, presented in partnership with the CDC Public Health Law Program, provides tribal leaders, health practitioners, health program directors and other stakeholders an opportunity to learn about law as a tool to address issues such as the development of public health codes and legal preparedness for public health emergencies. The webinar takes place on May 29 at 2:00 p.m. (ET).

Learn more and register for the Tribal Public Health Law Webinar.

Resources: Expanded Regulation of Tobacco Products

The FDA recently initiated the process to regulate non-cigarette tobacco products by announcing a proposed deeming regulation to include under its jurisdiction e-cigarettes, cigars, little cigars, dissolvable tobacco and hookah.  The Tobacco Control Legal Consortium offers several resources that provide helpful background for public health practitioners, attorneys, and advocates in understanding the FDA’s expanded tobacco regulation.

View resources on FDA deeming regulation and tobacco.

Ask the Experts:

Food Handler Training as a Public Health Intervention

The Network recently received an inquiry from a county local health department director about whether food handler training is an evidence-based public health intervention for food safety. Food handler trainings are educational programs designed to reduce the instances of food-borne illness and other food safety issues. Food training requirements differ widely by jurisdiction.

View response and resources provided by the Network.

Public Health Information Workshop

A free, daylong, pre-conference workshop has been announced for the 2014 Public Health Law Conference. The Application of Law to Health Information Workshop takes place on October 15, and will examine public health information systems; the application of computer technologies to public health surveillance; the legal issues related to the collection, storage, use, disclosure, linkage and access to data in public health information systems; along with examples of best practices from the field. The workshop is presented by the Network and the CDC Public Health Law Program.

View workshop agenda and register.

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