Experts Available for Interview: What Can be Done to Reduce Skyrocketing Overdose Deaths
64,000 Americans Died of Preventable Drug Overdose Last Year, More Than From Car Accidents, Firearms or HIV/AIDS
More than 64,000 people died from an accidental drug overdose last year, making it the leading cause of death among Americans under 50. What’s frustrating – and gives reason for hope – is that these deaths are largely preventable and can be significantly reduced by implementing effective, evidence-based drug policies.
In anticipation of International Overdose Awareness Day on August 31, experts from the Drug Policy Alliance are available for in-studio, remote and phone/Skype interviews to address the following topics and more:
- Maria McFarland Sánchez-Moreno, executive director of the Drug Policy Alliance, on the Trump Administration’s counterproductive strategy around opioids and the role the drug war plays in worsening the crisis, as well as life-saving policy solutions to the crisis.
- Michael Collins, DPA national affairs expert, on current federal legislative proposals that can be helpful in reducing overdose deaths, as well as disastrous bills currently in play.
- Lindsay LaSalle, DPA senior staff attorney, on her recent report An Overdose Death Is Not Murder: Why Drug-Induced Homicide Laws Are Counterproductive and Inhumane.
- Kassandra Frederique, DPA New York State Director, on how supervised consumption sites in New York and other hard hit areas can help reduce overdose deaths and crime and how the current opioid crisis engendered a different set of responses than past drug crises that were seen as primarily affecting Black and Latinx communities.
- Laura Thomas, DPA California Director, on how more communities across the country are looking to supervised consumption sites and other health-centered approaches in addressing the overdose crisis and myths and facts surrounding these approaches.
- Sheila Vakharia, DPA policy expert, on how the current crisis is about more than just opioids and also includes increased overdose and deaths from stimulant drugs like cocaine and methamphetamine, and effective, evidence-based strategies that will curtail this new phase of the overdose crisis.
- Stefanie Jones, Director of DPA’s Safer Partying campaign, on drug education and harm reduction efforts like drug checking to prevent medical emergencies and overdose within festival, concert and club settings.
Last Fall, the Drug Policy Alliance a released comprehensive action plan to address increasing rates of opioid use and overdose. The plan marks a radical departure from the punitive responses that characterize much of U.S. drug policy and instead focuses on scientifically proven harm reduction and public health interventions that can improve treatment outcomes and reduce the negative consequences of opioid misuse, such as transmission of infectious diseases and overdose.