Effect of police action on low-barrier substance use disorder service utilization

Original research
by
Weisenthal, Karrin et al

Release Date

2022

Geography

USA

Language of Resource

English

Full Text Available

Yes

Open Access / OK to Reproduce

Yes

Peer Reviewed

Yes

Objective

Increased police presence may increase or decrease treatment-seeking behavior. We examined the association between Operation Clean Sweep (OCS), a 2-week police action in Boston, MA, and visit volume in BMC’s low-barrier buprenorphine bridge clinic.

Findings/Key points

The increased policing during OCS was associated with a significant decrease in bridge clinic visits. Following the completion of OCS, there was a significant increase in clinic visits, suggesting pent-up demand for medications for opioid use disorder, a life-saving treatment.

Design/methods

Retrospective cohort -- visits during the 6 weeks prior, 2 weeks during, and 4 weeks after OCS.

Keywords

Justice system/law enforcement
Transitions in care/treatment
About PWUD
Barriers and enablers