Seeking Justice and Solutions: A Prosecutor’s Guide to Opioid Overdose Investigations

The opioid epidemic has presented prosecutors with new challenges and questions.  “We can’t arrest our way out of this problem” is the new tagline of the epidemic. Through the opioid crisis may be the result of criminal actions by pharmaceutical companies, profit-driven drug sellers, and corrupt physicians, modern prosecutors acknowledge that addiction itself is a medical condition, not a crime. The prosecutor is faced with decisions on two fronts, how to address the criminal activity of drug sellers and how to treat the medical issues of drug users. There is no simple answer. The goal of this guide is to provide options and to highlight innovative, effective strategies for improving prosecutors’ responses to overdose deaths. These responses range from providing access to treatment to prosecuting overdose deaths as homicides.Seeking Justice and Solutions- A Prosecutor’s Guide to Opioid Overdose Investigations