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What is legal epidemiology?

Legal epidemiology is the scientific study of and deployment of law as a factor in the cause, distribution, and prevention of disease and injury in a population.

 

The Center for Public Health Law Research published data on the Center’s Prescription Drug Abuse Policy System legal data site PDAPS.org on state laws limiting prescriptions for opioid analgesics. This dataset presents state-level statutes and regulations across all 50 states and the District of Columbia in effect between January 1, 2014, and December 31, 2019. 

The data were created in collaboration with subject matter expert Dr. Kao-Ping Chua, MD, PhD, Assistant Professor of Pediatrics, Susan B. Meister Child Health Evaluation and Research Center, Department of Pediatrics, University of Michigan Medical School, who conceptualized this project. 

 

By Laura Hannon and Alex Willhouse 

An estimated 65 percent of the United States prison population has an active substance use disorder (SUD). Providing comprehensive substance use treatment to incarcerated individuals has been shown to reduce both drug use and crime upon release. Treatment is a critical intervention to prevent opioid overdose deaths, which the CDC estimates increased by 15.4 percent, from 70,029 in 2020 to approximately 80,816 in 2021. Medications like methadone, buprenorphine, and naltrexone are an important part of a comprehensive approach to addressing opioid use disorder (OUD).  

 

Avanti Adhia, ScD, previously a Postdoctoral Scholar at the Harborview Injury Prevention and Research Center and now an Assistant Professor at the University of Washington, recently published research in JAMA Pediatrics. It explores how US states are actively seeking strategies to prevent and address teen dating violence (TDV) in schools, including enactment and implementation of TDV laws.

 

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