People who need opioid use (OUD) treatment in the United States are often not receiving it—at least two million people with OUD are experiencing a treatment gap that prevents or hampers their ability to receive life-saving care and support. This reality reflects structural, policy, and legal misalignments common to the entire US health care system, but that are especially present for behavioral health needs like substance use, and are exacerbated by other challenges related to stigma, lack of employment, and fragmented or nonexistent care coordination.
Data & Evidence
Act for Public Health's October Legislative Update covered the newly released vaccine bill tracking data from the Temple University Center for Public Health Law Research (CPHLR), highlighting trends and examples across the widespread legal activity surrounding vaccine law during the 2023 legislative session.
Shane Reader from the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston School of Public Health, recently published research in Drug and Alcohol Dependence that reveals patterns in implementation, facilitates future evaluations, and produces a roadmap for the dimension reduction of further policy surveillance datasets related to harm reduction and drug use.
Our team regularly tracks the use of our data and we have seen correlations between the data that seem to be most popular and current events.
June 24, 2023, marks one year since the US Supreme Court upended the limited constitutional protection of abortion afforded by Roe v. Wade. Now, the legal status of abortion varies even more drastically across the nation, compromising equitable access to this essential health care. While some states have moved to ban abortion outright, others have enacted measures attempting to protect and expand access.
By no means the first foray into gender identity-based discrimination, the legacy of North Carolina’s HB2 (2016) — known colloquially as the bathroom bill — is one we cannot shake. The law has since been repealed but was ultimately a turning point for what was possible in terms of legal action against the trans community. HB2 was particularly bothersome and ill-advised because of the legal mechanism it used to achieve its goals: preemption.
COVID-19 called for quick, decisive action by public health authorities to support communities and prevent infections. Since the pandemic began, legislators around the country have been acting to change the way authorities may respond to future public health emergencies — expanding or limiting officials’ authority to act in an emergency, changing who has authority to act, and the actions they may have the authority to take.
Hilary Wething, PhD, is an Assistant Professor of public policy at Penn State University. Her research area examines the relationship between economic volatility and labor market policy, household decision-making, and social safety-net programs