Thursday, June 3, 2021

With support from Vital Strategies, the Center for Public Health Law Research will expand four of its most popular datasets on the Prescription Drug Abuse Policy System (PDAPS) at

  1. Involuntary Commitment for Substance Use Dataset;
  2. Good Samaritan Overdose Prevention Laws Dataset;
  3. Naloxone Overdose Prevention Laws Dataset; and
  4. Syringe Service Program Laws Dataset (moving from to with this update).

The datasets will be longitudinal, capturing new laws and policies from 2017-2019 through summer 2021. The datasets, which will be released on a rolling basis beginning in June, will expand the availability of high-quality legal data that can be used in research and practice.

“Since the initial investment in PDAPS by the National Institute on Drug Abuse ended in 2019, CPHLR has worked to ensure that the site continues to be a leading source of rigorous legal data for researchers, policymakers, and the public,” said Elizabeth Platt, JD, the lead researcher on the PDAPS project and director of the Center’s Policy Research Technology Program.

“With opioid overdose deaths peaking in 2020 at their highest rate ever recorded, now more than ever it’s essential to look deeply and carefully at the laws and policies that create or remove barriers to programs, services and support that may prevent more unnecessary deaths. We’re so grateful to Vital Strategies for their investment in this valuable research.”

The Center will continue its work with the Health and Justice in Action Lab at the Northeastern University School of Law, which initially developed the data focused on involuntary commitment for substance use. It also welcomes a new collaboration with a group of students from the University of Florida College of Pharmacy for the update of the Naloxone Overdose Prevention Laws dataset. This collaboration provides an exciting opportunity for hands-on methods training for the next generation of legal epidemiologists.

This is the first of many forthcoming updates to In the coming months, the site will add data related to drug use and access during the COVID-19 pandemic, opioid prescribing limits, and laws and policies affecting treatment options like buprenorphine and institutions for mental diseases (IMD).

Vital Strategies is a global public health organization working to strengthen public health systems and address the world's leading causes of illness, injury and death. Vital Strategies, John Hopkins University, The Pew Charitable Trusts, and the CDC Foundation are part of $50M investment by Bloomberg Philanthropies to address the overdose epidemic in the United States.

Visit to explore the data.