The death of George Floyd has accelerated calls for police reform. Although decriminalizing drugs and the people who use them will not end police violence, it is part of the structural change needed to fix the problem. Continue Reading
The collective trauma of the Covid-19 pandemic may provide a clearer understanding of why people use drugs — to help us see it not as a moral failing or a brain malfunction, but as a fundamentally human response to negative life events. Continue Reading
Given the stakes involved, it is imperative to ensure that risk assessment tools accurately identify appropriate behaviors, and do not over-generalize about what constitutes a risk to public safety. Continue Reading
Body-worn cameras (BWCs) are becoming a permanent fixture of modern policing, and their effects are likely to be much more nuanced than originally predicted. Continue Reading
A wealth of evidence attests to the efficacy of medication-assisted treatment for opioid dependence, but most Americans can’t get access. In Texas, legislators did little to address this issue in the session that ended May 27. The continued unwillingness to confront the problem means the public health crisis of substance abuse will continue, and will continue to impact not only individuals and families, but entire communities and systems of care.
The 86th Texas Legislature moved an inch — and no more — on easing some restrictions related to marijuana. However, over the last four legislative sessions, marijuana reform has moved from the fringe to the mainstream, and there have been meaningful gains, rhetorically and politically if not always substantively. If current trends continue, and I suspect they will, substantive change will eventually make its way through the Texas political process.
Despite medical advancements, there are two major barriers to advancing prevention of and treatments for opioid use disorder (OUD): the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s slow approval processes for clinical trials and new drugs, and limitations on care imposed by the health insurance industry. Continue Reading