231636 Social justice for drug using populations policing, public health, and a call to action

Tuesday, November 9, 2010 : 10:50 AM - 11:10 AM

Robin A. Pollini, PhD MPH , School of Medicine, University of California San Diego, La Jolla, CA
Injection drug users (IDUs) suffer from disproportionate levels of morbidity and mortality. HIV, viral hepatitis and other infections; drug overdoses; injuries; and related barriers to appropriate medical care all contribute to this disparity. However, morbidity and mortality stemming from each of these sources is preventable, particularly where the human rights of drug users are respected. Public health researchers are increasingly documenting associations between policing and the risk behaviors and health status of IDUs; these include relationships between policing and HIV sero-positivity, syringe sharing, and access to health services. Yet very few public health interventions have been undertaken to address these relationships. This presentation will provide an overview of the literature on policing and IDU health, summarize selected interventions, and outline a strategy for addressing IDU health as a moral imperative under the auspices of an Epidemiological Criminology framework.

Learning Areas:
Epidemiology
Social and behavioral sciences

Learning Objectives:
1. To understand how policing activity can impact the health of IDUs; 2. To characterize selected interventions to mitigate the adverse effects of policing on IDU health; 3. To identify opportunities for epidemiologists and criminologists to collaborate in implementing and evaluating similar interventions.

Keywords: Substance Abuse, HIV/AIDS

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: The author has contributed abstracts to other conferences of similar nature and presented on the same topic at the 2009 APHA.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.