Publication Date: 
Tuesday, August 8, 2023

Public Health and law are interwoven, shaping how communities interact and people experience the world around them. Legal mapping is the scientific process of analyzing state laws concerning a particular legal topic at either a particular point in time (cross-sectional) or its change over a period of time (longitudinal). This page features ASTHO’s legal mapping work to plot the legal landscape for public health priorities, beginning with policies intended to prevent overdose.

OD2A Harm Reduction Legal Mapping

As part of the Overdose Data to Action (OD2A) cooperative agreement with CDC, ASTHO staff conducted extensive legal and legislative research on policies intended to prevent overdose across all 50 states, five territories, and Washington, D.C. Using the legal mapping tool MonQcle, ASTHO staff visualized this research in a series of policy maps. The first map, published in July 2023, focuses on harm reduction laws and legislation. The protocols used to develop these maps did not include research on xylazine-related legislation. The Harm Reduction Policy Report provides background information on the three main policies and practices reviewed in the harm reduction laws map and the overdose prevention center legislation map.

Harm Reduction Laws Map

The map visualizes a cross-sectional data set of laws and regulations supporting community distribution of naloxone, legality and distribution of fentanyl test strips, and establishment of overdose prevention centers as of January 1, 2023.