This paper reports on a workshop sponsored by the National Institute of Justice (NIJ) that assembled subject-matter experts to identify and prioritize promising law enforcement strategies for countering the opioid crisis.
The workshop was held September 25 and 26, 2018. After a series of panels and discussions, participants produced 13 high-priority needs, including strategies believed to be ready for immediate implementation and those strategies that require further research regarding their implementation and effectiveness. One solution identified as primary is the connection of individuals with opioid-use disorder (OUD) to the medications that can treat them. This involves finding ways to reduce barriers to the use of medication-assisted treatment (MAT) and expanded access and funding for such treatment. This effort will also require effective collaborations among law enforcement officers, social workers, and other stakeholders. In addition to removing legal barriers to OUD treatment, community and other stakeholder concerns must be addressed before high-priority harm-reduction approaches can be expanded, such as safe injection sites or syringe exchanges.