Addressing the 'Risk Environment' for Injection Drug Users: The Mysterious Case of the Missing Cop

35 Pages Posted: 20 Oct 2006 Last revised: 27 Jan 2011

Scott Burris

Temple University - James E. Beasley School of Law

Martin Donoghoe

World Health Organization

Kim Blankenship

Yale University - School of Medicine

Susan Sherman

Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health

Jon S. Vernick

Johns Hopkins University - Bloomberg School of Public Health

Patricia Case

Harvard Medical School

Zita Lazzarini

University of Connecticut Health Center

Steve Koester

University of Colorado at Denver - Health Sciences Center

Abstract

Ecological models of the determinants of health and the consequent importance of structural interventions have been widely accepted. Operationalizing these models in research and practice has been challenging. Examining the role of criminal law enforcement in the "risk environment" of injection drug users (IDUs) provides an opportunity to apply structural thinking to the health problems associated with drug use. This paper reviews international evidence that laws and law enforcement practices influence IDU risk. It argues that more research is needed at four levels - laws; management of law enforcement agencies; knowledge, attitudes, beliefs and practices of front-line officers; and attitudes and experiences of IDUs - and that such research can be the basis of interventions within law enforcement to enhance IDU health.

Keywords: Injection Drug Use, Structural Interventions, Social Determinants of Health, Law Enforcement, Criminal Law

Suggested Citation

Burris, Scott and Donoghoe, Martin and Blankenship, Kim and Sherman, Susan and Vernick, Jon S. and Case, Patricia and Lazzarini, Zita and Koester, Steve, Addressing the 'Risk Environment' for Injection Drug Users: The Mysterious Case of the Missing Cop. Milbank Quarterly, Vol. 82, pp. 125-156. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=937013

Scott C. Burris (Contact Author)

Temple University - James E. Beasley School of Law ( email )

1719 N. Broad Street
Philadelphia, PA 19122
United States
215-204-6576 (Phone)
215-204-1185 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://www.phlr.org

Martin Donoghoe

World Health Organization ( email )

20 Avenue Appia
Geneva 27, CH-1211
Switzerland

Kim Blankenship

Yale University - School of Medicine ( email )

Department of Psychiatry
New Haven, CT 06520-8034
United States

Susan Sherman

Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health ( email )

615 North Wolfe Street
Baltimore, MD 21205
United States

Jon S. Vernick

Johns Hopkins University - Bloomberg School of Public Health ( email )

624 N. Broadway
Baltimore, MD 21205
United States
410-955-7982 (Phone)
410-614-9055 (Fax)

Patricia Case

Harvard Medical School ( email )

250 Longwood Avenue
Boston, MA 02115
United States

Zita Lazzarini

University of Connecticut Health Center ( email )

263 Farmington Avenue
Farmington, CT 06030
United States
860-679-5495 (Phone)
860-679-5464 (Fax)

Steve Koester

University of Colorado at Denver - Health Sciences Center ( email )

4200 E. Ninth Avenue
Denver, CO 80262
United States

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