Reducing Addiction * Saving Lives: A Comprehensive Strategy for Reducing Deaths from Opioid Abuse
More people die from opioids than from traffic accidents. Our jails are brimming with people who need treatment, not confinement. And too many people with an addiction wind up with a criminal record, making their recovery that much more difficult. The cost of addiction in human lives, broken families, and taxpayer dollars is far too high. A crisis of this magnitude requires a comprehensive, sustained strategy to prevent, treat, and recover from the substance use disorder. Sam Quinones, former reporter for the Los Angeles Times, author of Dreamland, and frequent speaker, told his gripping story about the trade in opioids and the destruction it has caused in human lives across America.
Panelist: Sam Quinones, author, Dreamland
First Panel Discussion
This session explored emerging elements of the opioid crisis. Panelists raised issues for state and local policymakers, practitioners and researchers to consider as they plan, fund and implement programs and services to address the needs of the addicted and the mentally ill. The opioid crisis was presented from the perspective of the medical examiner, exploring building effective partnerships with public health agencies, and presenting what research finds are the successful elements for diverting the addicted into treatment.
Tara Kunkel, Senior Drug Policy Officer, Bureau of Justice Assistance, U.S. Department of Justice
- Jac Charlier, National Director for Justice Initiatives, Center for Health and Justice, TASC
- Dr. David Fowler, Chairman of the Board, National Association of Medical Examiners
- Dr. Joshua Sharfstein, Associate Dean for Public Health Practice and Training, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health
Second Panel Discussion
The second panel discussion consisted of a multi-media presentation that highlighted promising practices across the six pillars of a comprehensive response to addiction: prevention, treatment, recovery, overdose reversal, law enforcement, and criminal justice reform.
Moderator: Chris Asplen, Executive Director, National Criminal Justice Association
Panelist: Jessica Nickel, President, Addiction Policy Forum
Inside the Beltway
NCJA staff offered their annual look at Congressional and Administration activities that affect state, local and tribal criminal justice policymakers and practitioners. This discussion included appropriations for federal justice assistance programs and upcoming federal legislation.
Presenter: Elizabeth Pyke, Director of Government Affairs, National Criminal Justice Association
Presentation: Inside the Beltway (Pyke)