Brief: How medical-legal partnership services can help address the opioid crisis

Thursday, March 1, 2018

By Jay Chaudhary, Kate Marple, & Jillian Bajema The National Center for Medical-Legal Partnership

The current opioid epidemic is a public health crisis, devastating urban, suburban, and rural communities across the United States. Alongside Medication-Assisted Treatment (MAT) programs, which combine behavioral therapy with the careful use of milder opiates to prevent withdrawal symptoms, there is an increased focus among policymakers and health care providers on how social supports and services help support people in recovery.

This issue brief from the National Center for Medical-Legal Partnership examines how legal services delivered alongside medical and behavioral health services can help support successful recovery from substance use disorders. It highlights case studies of individuals in recovery who were aided by medical-legal partnership (MLP) services, and looks at how existing recovery-based MLP programs in Ohio, Indiana, and Nevada operate. The brief offers a window into how legal services, integrated into existing recovery efforts, can play a role in alleviating the crisis.