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Opioid Crisis: NIJ Resources for First Responders

NCJ Number
Date Published
May 2019
1 page
In this 3-minute video with accompanying transcript, Frances Scott, a Physical Scientist at the National Institute of Justice (NIJ), discusses NIJ's funding for research and development related to countering the opioid crisis.
NIJ funding related to the opioid crisis includes research in forensic science, social science, and relevant technologies that address circumstances stemming from rampant and varied opioid use. NIJ has funding for state and local crime labs in addressing the scope and diversity of the opioid crisis. NIJ plans to create a working group that will develop best practices for collecting and processing opioid evidence, which will assist first responders in providing safe, effective responses and investigations in cases of opioid overdoses, as well as lab personnel who process evidence from such scenes. NIJ recently reached an agreement with the Centers for Disease Control to conduct research that addresses some of the knowledge gaps regarding the risk to first responders when they encounter fentanyl and other opioids. The video also notes that the opioid crisis involves more than one type of drug. In addition to heroin, whose abuse has been a problem for years, there is fentanyl and all of its analogs that can be created in a lab. The variety of these drugs poses challenges that include identifying the dangers various drugs pose for first responders and the protective equipment they need.

Date Published: May 1, 2019