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Assessing Drug Policy Implementation

Updated: Aug 29, 2023

Editor’s Note: Last week, we ran a showcase of new research on new developments in drug law enforcement. Today, we’re highlighting some recent work that aims to assess the implementation and maintenance of such regimes in the United States. These entries are part of an ongoing drug-related dissertation bibliography compiled by Jonathon Erlen, which was formerly published in the Social History of Alcohol and Drugs journal but is now periodically featured on the Points blog. Contact Dr. Erlen through the link above.

Assessing the effects of Florida’s anti-pill mill law on prescription drug related health outcomes

Author: Kinsell, Heidi Shoemake

Abstract: Prescription drug abuse and the related mortality and morbidity have been a particular problem in Florida. Over the past fifteen years, Florida became a major source of prescription drug diversion due primarily to the abundance of dishonest pain management clinics or “pill mills” operating in the state. Given that the misuse and abuse of prescription drugs is a widespread public health problem with consequences that extend beyond the individual, and it is essential that policies are based on data-driven evidence to be able to improve population health outcomes. Therefore, the goal of this study was to assess the effectiveness of multifactorial pain clinic legislation on mitigating the health consequences of prescription drug abuse. Analyses indicate that there was a greater decreasing trend over time in Florida after implementation of HB 7095, the anti-pill mill law for prescription drug related deaths and inpatient discharges for prescription drug poisonings. While small, there was also a slightly greater decreasing trend for prescription drug poisoning emergency department (ED) visits in Florida after implementation of the anti-pill mill law. Policy environments are extremely complex and always changing so a mixture of policy approaches may need to be considered.

Publication year: 2015

Advisor: Harman, Jeffrey S.

Committee member: Cook, Robert L.; Duncan, R. Paul; Harle, Christopher A.

University/institution: University of Florida

An ex post facto comparison: Pre and post law substance use traits of impaired drivers

Author: Thomas, Willow

Abstract: Impaired driving continues to be a significant public health issue; however, data are lacking on impaired driving offender traits and the effects of deterrence theory (harsher statutes) on these characteristics. The purpose of this study was to identify an impaired driving offender profile, then analyze the effect of harsher statutes on type of substance use and degree of alcohol impairment at the time of arrest. The analysis was performed by comparing type of substance use and degree of alcohol impairment in the state of Ohio before (pre) the implementation of the drugged driving statutes (2001–2005) to after (post) the inclusion of the drugged driving statutes (2013–2014). Archived data were analyzed using a quantitative ex post facto approach. The independent variable was the change in statutes (pre/post), which was based on the implementation of the per se standards for illicit drugs added to the OVI statutes in 2006 (harsher statutes). The dependent variables were the type of substance use and degree of alcohol impairment at the time of arrest pre/post statute change. Archival data from offenders who completed a court-ordered diversion program in the state of Ohio were analyzed. Study findings showed a difference in type of substance use at the time of arrest pre and post statute change. Results showed that there was not a significant difference in degree of alcohol impairment pre and post statute change.

Publication year: 2015

Advisor: Giordano, Vincent

Committee member: Lentz, Cheryl; Rentler, David

University/institution: The University of the Rockies

Department: Organizational Leadership

Workplace policy and the legalization of marijuana in the state of Colorado: A delphi study

Author: Cupit, Patricia

Abstract: The focus of this research is in the area of Human Resources policies. Such a study is important in order to take into consideration the new drug legalization laws and regulations as well as the provision of a safe working environment for all employees. The research proposal intends to understand effects of legalized marijuana on the state of Colorado’s workforce by examining current policies and dilemmas related to drug usage by the workforce. The research method includes a Delphi study approach that employs subject matter experts in business policy making.

Publication year: 2015

Advisor: Anastasia, Christina

Committee member: Forsyth, Brian; Viar, Lee

University/institution: Colorado Technical University

Department: Management


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