On the Front Lines of the Opioid Epidemic: Research, Challenges and Multi-Disciplinary Responses in the Justice System

On the Front Lines of the Opioid Epidemic: Research, Challenges and Multi-Disciplinary Responses in the Justice System
Duration: 60 Minutes
Module 1Module 1
Recorded on: 2020-10-29
Unit 1Slide Deck: On the Front Lines of the Opioid Epidemic
Unit 2Transcript: On the Front Lines of the Opioid Epidemic
Unit 3Workbook: On the Front Lines of the Opioid Epidemic
Unit 4Recording: On the Front Lines of the Opioid Epidemic

Opioid use has reshaped American society in many ways – how drug trafficking and trade is being done, the drug dependency lifestyle perpetuated, the decreased life expectancy, the families it impacted. There is no one agency that can address the opioid crisis single-handedly. A multi-disciplinary, evidence-based approach is the surest way to deliver the needed help and treatment for those suffering from opioid abuse disorder. This session provides a rundown of the promising practices that agencies all over the US are implementing in an effort to curb the epidemic.

Dr. Sean Goodman, Deputy Director and Senior Research Criminologist from the  Police Executive Research Forum (PERF) is this webinar’s instructor. A member of the FBI’s Use of Force Data Task Force and BJS’s NIBRS Methodology Team, he focuses his research on law enforcement initiatives. He served as a Law Enforcement Analyst and civilian researcher for the Washington, D.C. Metropolitan Police Department (MPDC) before working for PERF.

Topics he discussed are:

  • The science behind opioids, its sources, examples, how it impacts the brain, and the result of continued opioid use.
  • An overview of the opioid epidemic and the distinct characteristics of the new opioid crisis we’re facing.
  • The treatments available for opioid use disorder (OUD), the different medications used, and the characteristics of each which addresses the effects of opioids in an individual.
  • The importance of science in informing decision making related to the opioid crisis.
  • The different law enforcement-led interventions, the expanse of implementation, and how these are conducted.
  • Effective collaborations to address the opioid epidemic through a single goal, active participation, lasting partnerships, integration, and data sharing.
  • Examples of successful programs that leverage partnerships to prevent risks linked to opioid use around the US.
  • Addressing the health and wellness of the first responders who are subjected to stress at work as they’re exposed to overdose deaths, individuals suffering from OUD, and feel powerless to effectively prevent and put a stop to the epidemic.
  • How forensics can address aspects of the opioid crisis by identifying new substances from the market or from overdose cases.
  • The value in developing a comprehensive research agenda to identify and prioritize the topics that law enforcement should focus on when tackling the opioid crisis.
  • Future challenges linked to the opioid crisis that all stakeholders must look out for and allocate resources to before things get worse.

Questions from the audience were about:

  • The coin stacking activity done to identify priority issues.
  • Opioid treatment and diversion plans for juveniles.
  • Partnering with local businesses and the community to address the opioid epidemic.


Resources and Handouts



Audience Comments

  • “Overall very informative. Speaker was personable and informative. I would like more on this topic as it is a pressing concern for all of us.” — Andrea
  • “The opioid epidemic statistics are shocking and best practices need to be enacted immediately. Thank you for this eye-opening webinar!” — Roseann
  • “The science of opioids was very valuable. Not that I could explain it, but to have a concept of such is great, thank you!” — Guy
  • “Coin Stacking” – what a great idea for determining how to rate issues! Great overall information. — PATTY
  • “The statistic on how the OPOID problem had effected all races and the economic area was surprising.” — Theresa


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