Harm Reduction

Resources

News Release, Published: 
Tuesday, April 30, 2019
The Whatcom County Jail will provide people in the jail with opioid use disorder (OUD) the medications necessary to treat their addiction, according to the settlement agreement proposed in a class-action civil rights lawsuit filed by the ACLU of Washington.
News Release, Published: 
Thursday, June 7, 2018
The ACLU of Washington has filed a class-action civil rights lawsuit against Whatcom County and the Whatcom County Sheriff’s Office for denying people with opioid use disorder (OUD) in the County Jail medications necessary to treat their addiction.
Published: 
Thursday, April 12, 2018
Civil liberties highlights from the 2018 Washington State Legislative Session
Published: 
Friday, September 16, 2016
A King County task force recently released cutting-edge policy recommendations about how to confront the region’s opiate epidemic. With ACLU-WA participation, the task force is continuing the county’s pioneering work in treating drug abuse as a public health issue, rather than as a criminal matter.
Published: 
Friday, March 4, 2016
Heavy-handed law enforcement is one of the primary ways society has attempted to deal with the complicated issue of drug abuse. Responding to problematic drug use from a public health perspective is a far better approach.
Published: 
Friday, November 18, 2011
In 2010, the ACLU of Washington was instrumental in the passage of the nation’s second “911 Good Samaritan” law. New research from the University of Washington’s Alcohol and Drug Abuse Institute shows that the 911 Good Samaritan law works.
Published: 
Friday, October 28, 2011
One disturbing consequence of the Patriot Act, which just marked its ten-year anniversary, is how it has been used for law enforcement actions not related to combating terrorism -- the rationale for the Act's passage. A glaring example can be seen in the use of "sneak and peak” searches for drug crimes.
Published: 
Friday, September 16, 2011
As flu season approaches, Washingtonians should be thankful that they can still purchase the highly effective decongestant pseudoephedrine over the counter and don’t need to get a prescription (which some states now require). However, they should also be somewhat disgruntled that they must now have their personal information (name, address, amount purchased) submitted into a newly created database that will track their purchases. Since 2005, paper logs had to be maintained for pseudoephedrine sales in Washington, but there was no centrally housed electronic database.
Published: 
Wednesday, April 6, 2011
The study of psychology and addiction behaviors has lost a true pioneer. The recent passing of Professor G. Alan Marlatt has reverberated across the addiction research and drug policy communities. As a Professor of Psychology and Director of the Addictive Behaviors Research Center at the University of Washington, Dr. Marlatt broke new ground in the areas of harm reduction, relapse prevention, and evidence based treatment techniques.
Published: 
Wednesday, December 8, 2010
It was recently announced by the director of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) that a new institute will be created that will study “substance use, abuse, and addiction research and related public health initiatives.” This institute will replace the existing National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA), and other institutes dealing with addiction. As the NIH director states, creating the new, unified institute “makes scientific sense and would enhance NIH's efforts to address the substance abuse and addiction problems that take such a terrible toll on our society.” In other words, the brain processes involved with addiction are universal across substances, so we shouldn’t be studying them in a piecemeal fashion based on their legal status. Makes sense right? Perhaps it’s time our lawmakers follow suit and pass laws which treat addiction as the public health issue it is, instead of the current criminal/non-criminal system we now employ.

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