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Jan 2, 2014 New York City is not immune to the nationwide epidemic of opioid prescription drug abuse, addiction, and overdose deaths. From 2000 to 2012, overdose deaths involving prescription opioids increased 222 percent citywide, and 10 percent of students in grades 7 to 12 surveyed in 2008 reported using these drugs recreationally. In addition, public health professionals are reporting evidence that some young people who develop dependency to prescription opioids...
Dec 10, 2013 Starting in 2014, the Affordable Care Act (ACA) will dramatically expand Medicaid eligibility to include all individuals with income at or below 133% of the federal poverty level. For the first time, eligibility will be based solely on income, and no longer take into account factors such as age, gender, being a parent, and having a disability. This expansion of Medicaid is an option to states, and those that chose to participate will close the coverage...
Nov 18, 2013 Vital federal funding that supports a variety of crime-prevention strategies, treatment programs, and innovative initiatives in our communities has decreased by 43 percent since 2010, according to a recent survey conducted by the Vera Institute of Justice (Vera) and National Criminal Justice Association (NCJA). The survey examines the impact those cuts have on essential...
Sep 24, 2013 A recent issue of the Lancet reports on findings from the Global Burden of Diseases, Injuries, and Risk Factors Study (GBD) 2010—a large-scale, epidemiological analysis that provides a snapshot of the health profiles of populations living in different regions of the world. Two separate analyses, conducted by Australian epidemiologists, reveal that mental...
Aug 15, 2013 On Monday, Attorney General Eric Holder called for criminal justice reform that was notable not only for its breadth, but for its widespread support, which crossed party lines, executive and legislative divides, and federal and state boundaries. To those working in the justice sector, it was both gratifying and compelling to hear Mr. Holder’s embrace of comprehensive reform—as well as the support it received. Vera’s work in many of the areas Mr. Holder...
Jul 18, 2013 Last month, the Senate Judiciary Committee approved the Justice and Mental Health Collaboration Act (JMHCA) of 2013, a critical piece of legislation that will reauthorize and improve the Mentally Ill Offender Treatment and Crime Reduction Act (MIOTCRA) of 2004. Despite the fact that in the United States people in the criminal justice system have significantly higher rates of psychological and physical health problems than the general population, the...

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