LSC Holds Events to Highlight Opioid Task Force Report

July 11, 2019

The LSC Opioid Task Force’s recently released report offers recommendations on how legal aid providers can collaborate with the medical, judicial, law enforcement, and other communities to best confront the opioid crisis. 

The opioid epidemic has emerged as one of the most serious public health care crises in American history. Since 1999, at least 400,000 people in the United States have died from an overdose involving opioids, and more than two million Americans currently suffer from opioid-related substance use disorders.

Individuals and families affected by the opioid epidemic face a variety of civil legal issues, such as caring for relatives, custody, domestic violence, health care, housing, insurance, and employment. Additionally, individuals with opioid use disorder often encounter legal barriers to obtaining or maintaining access to medication-assisted treatment. Legal aid providers are key to addressing the legal issues that prevent treatment and recovery.

Judges, legal aid attorneys, clinicians, leaders of public health and public policy organizations, access to justice professionals, individuals in recovery, business leaders, and members of LSC’s Leaders Council comprised the LSC Opioid Task Force. The Task Force spent eleven months holding in-person meetings and conference calls that brought together Task Force members with subject matter experts to investigate and analyze the intersection between the opioid epidemic and civil legal aid.

Since the report’s release, LSC has held numerous events highlighting the Opioid Task Force’s work. The initial event was held on June 10th in Washington, DC, where Representatives Susan Brooks (IN-5), Joseph P. Kennedy III (MA-4), Fred Upton (MI-6) and Brian Fitzpatrick (PA-1) delivered remarks. The second event was held on June 19th in Chicago, where American Bar Association President Robert Carlson and University of Michigan Head Football Coach Jim Harbaugh offered remarks. The third event was held on June 27th in Nashville, where Chief Justice Jeffrey S. Bivins of the Tennessee Supreme Court and Dean Linda Norman of the Vanderbilt University School of Nursing delivered remarks.