Current Thinking

/ Substance Use and Mental Health

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Feb 5, 2016 In 1995, at the height of the AIDS epidemic in this country, 48,979 people died from HIV-related mortality. In 2014, more than 47,000 Americans died, not from an emerging infectious disease without existing treatment, but from drug overdoses driven in large part by prescription opioids such as fentanyl and oxycodone. This parallel, on which The New York Times recently...
Jan 12, 2016 At the close of 2015, two Republican legislators, House Appropriations Chairman Hal Rogers and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell led the charge to effectively lift the federal ban on providing operational support for syringe exchange programs (SEPs). Because of the increase in potential funding, such harm reduction programs will now further expand across the country. This...
Nov 17, 2015 Last month, the New York Times reported that more than 130 law enforcement officials have launched an initiative to reduce both crime and incarceration, representing a public shift in philosophy from previously popular tough-on-crime rhetoric. As a police officer in Seattle for 31 years and now with the King County Sheriff’s Office for the last year...
Aug 26, 2015 I am asked daily why The California Endowment—a health foundation where I serve as a program director—is interested in criminal justice reform. I now have an answer that doesn’t require me to say one word. The Endowment and the American Public Health Association (APHA) created the video you see below to show the painful impact mass incarceration has on the health of our communities and communities...
Aug 6, 2015 The numbers released earlier this week by the Bureau of Justice Statistics paint a grim picture. Suicide—as it has been every year since BJS began collecting data in 2001—is the leading single cause of death for people incarcerated in local jails, accounting for a third of all facility deaths in 2013. This is a 9 percent increase from 2012. Local governments and departments...

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