By Kate Lena, MPH, Linkages to Care Coordinator, AHOPE Needle Exchange Program, Boston Public Health Commission
This is an excerpt from the 2017 NACCHO Exchange Winter Issue on opioids.
Opioid misuse is highly stigmatized and criminalized, making people who inject opioids an especially hard-to-reach, high-risk population and hampering public health surveillance efforts to understand the timing, circumstances, and proximate causes of overdose events. Boston Public Health Commission’s needle exchange program, AHOPE, has spent more than a decade working to overcome those obstacles. Launched in 2006, AHOPE—Massachusetts’s first community Overdose Education and Naloxone Distribution (OEND) pilot program—distributes harm reduction supplies to people who inject drugs.1 Continue reading
From left: Rep. Katherine Clark (D-MA); Laura Hanen, NACCHO; Fred Wells Brason II, Project Lazarus; Susan McKnight, Lake County (IL) Health Department; and Dr. Leana Wen, Baltimore City Health Department
By Aliyah Ali, Government Affairs Intern, NACCHO
During the second full week of April, NACCHO hosted two briefings for Members of Congress, Congressional staff, and public health advocates: “Tobacco 21: Raise the Age to Save Lives” and “Opioid Overdose and Naloxone: Lessons Learned in Saving Lives.” Public health experts on both issues convened to explain the benefits of raising the age for purchase of tobacco to 21 years and discuss the life-saving abilities of naloxone.
Tobacco 21: Raise the Age to Save Lives
On April 14, NACCHO, Big Cities Health Coalition (BCHC), Trinity Health, and Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids joined forces to highlight the Tobacco to 21 Act (S.2100/HR 3656), a bill introduced by Senator Brian Schatz (D-HI) and Representative Diana DeGette (D-CO) that would make 21 the minimum age to buy tobacco. Continue reading
Photo courtesy of Ian Goldstein
By Ian Goldstein, Government Affairs & Senior Web and Digital Media Specialist, NACCHO
As a member of NACCHO’s Government Affairs team for over two years, I have been to Capitol Hill to advocate for policies and funding that support local health departments. I take great pride in helping voice the concerns of NACCHO’s members and educate Congressional staff about everything local health departments do to keep their communities healthy and safe. Many public health issues I advocate for are grounded in professional morals and ethics, but on March 1, my professional role became personal. I lost my 17-year-old cousin, Alexia Springer, to a prescription drug overdose. Continue reading
By Sheri Lawal, MPH, CHES, Program Analyst, NACCHO
According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), recovery is “a process of change through which individuals improve their health and wellness, live self-directed lives, and strive to reach their full potential.” This September marks the 26th annual National Recovery Month, which highlights the message that recovery is possible and encourages action to help expand and improve the availability of effective prevention, treatment, and recovery services for those in need. Continue reading