Read a Publication from the Vera Institute of Justice on Innovative Strategies for Addressing Opioid Abuse

The Vera Institute of Justice has released a new publication, A New Normal: Addressing Opioid Use through the Criminal Justice System, which advocates for a smarter, evidence-based approach for opioid abuse treatment and recovery. Specifically, the report discusses the importance of moving away from using “life-interruption models” and toward using harm reduction approaches, which seek to reduce the negative stigmas and consequences associated with opioid abuse.

This report provides perspectives from relevant stakeholders in law enforcement, courts, corrections, drug policy organizations, and the community on innovative harm reduction strategies being implemented by jurisdictions across the United States. These strategies include:

  • Law enforcement-assisted diversion (LEAD);
  • Medication-assisted treatment (MAT);
  • Syringe exchange programs (SEPs); and
  • Distribution of naloxone.

The report concludes that in many communities, public health strategies like LEAD, MAT, SEPs, and naloxone help to reduce overdose deaths and advance the health and safety of both the overall community and people with opioid abuse disorders involved in the justice system.

View the full report.

To find more information on naloxone, check out the Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA) Law Enforcement Naloxone Toolkit. You can also read information on BJA funding opportunities related to reducing opioid abuse.