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Elizabeth Bowen, PhD, & Andrew Irish, MSW

Mapping the Federal Legislative Response to the Opioid Epidemic

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“You can look at ways of trying to reduce illicit opioids, and that’s not easy. [W]hat I think is more difficult, is looking at the reasons why people are using and becoming addicted to opioids in the first place.”

Elizabeth Bowen, PhD, &
Andrew Irish, MSW

In this episode, Dr. Elizabeth Bowen and Andrew Irish discuss the results of their research on mapping opioid-related public policy, published in their 2019 article “A policy mapping analysis of goals, target populations, and punitive notions in the U.S. congressional response to the opioid epidemic” in the International Journal of Drug Policy. They consider why is it important for social work practitioners and policy makers to understand issues associated with opioid-related policy, and the implications of their research for future policy initiatives that are intended to address the opioid epidemic.

Elizabeth Bowen, PhD, is an Assistant Professor in the University at Buffalo School of Social Work. Dr. Bowen’s research centers on homelessness and health equity. Using policy analysis and other qualitative and quantitative research methods, Dr. Bowen’s work examines the pathways that link homelessness, health conditions, and social policy. She completed her doctorate in social work at the University of Illinois at Chicago and previously worked as a social worker managing harm reduction-based supportive housing programs.

Andrew Irish, MSW, is a PhD student in social welfare at the University at Buffalo. His research interests include recovery capital, policy mapping, and the relationship of income inequality to mental health, substance use, and suicide. His practice background is in outpatient behavioral health treatment

Interviewer: Nicole Capozziello

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