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Legal and behavioral health service responses to substance abuse and addiction in the United States

Gallo, Ashley (2019) Legal and behavioral health service responses to substance abuse and addiction in the United States. Master Essay, University of Pittsburgh.

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The spread and impact of drug use in the United States has serious implications for the social, environmental, legal, economic, and physical domains of our communities. These implications have been greatly compounded by the criminalization of drug use, possession, and distribution. As such, the methodology and quality of approaches to the legal and clinical treatment of addiction and substance abuse are of paramount public health relevance. This paper seeks to identify ways in which the myriad intersections of clinical and legal entities in the United States have influenced substance abuse outcomes for our communities as well as highlight what works to effectively reduce substance abuse and drug-charge related recidivism. A literature search was conducted within the PubMed and Scopus databases to identify relevant, peer-reviewed papers describing the interplay of addiction treatment, health policy, and the criminal justice system. Boolean search terminology was used, and the search was limited to papers published in the last twenty years. Findings from a narrative review of this literature indicate that significant improvements need to be made concerning the expansion of integrative healthcare, to increase equitable access to clinical treatment of substance use disorders, and to improve resources related to housing, employment, transportation, and support for the communities affected by addiction. It is recommended by public health social scientists, clinical providers, and the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Administration (SAMHSA) that access to evidence based interventions be improved and the environments in which people are able to address issues of addiction and substance abuse support the decarceration and decriminalization of such along with local, state, and federal commitments to fund and endorse these new, and potentially more therapeutic, infrastructures.


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Item Type: Other Thesis, Dissertation, or Long Paper (Master Essay)
Status: Unpublished
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Gallo, Ashleyasg79@pitt.eduasg79
ContributionContributors NameEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Committee ChairMaseru, Noblenam137@pitt.eduUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Committee MemberJacobs, Leahleahjacobs@pitt.eduUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Date: 5 August 2019
Date Type: Submission
Submission Date: 6 August 2019
Access Restriction: No restriction; Release the ETD for access worldwide immediately.
Number of Pages: 90
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Schools and Programs: School of Public Health > Behavioral and Community Health Sciences
Degree: MPH - Master of Public Health
Thesis Type: Master Essay
Refereed: Yes
Uncontrolled Keywords: Substance Use Disorder, Addiction, Criminalization, Risk Environment, Life Course Approach, Treatment Models
Date Deposited: 28 Sep 2019 23:35
Last Modified: 28 Sep 2019 23:35


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