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Introduction to the special issue

  • Finlay, Andrea1, 2
  • Binswanger, Ingrid3, 4, 5
  • Timko, Christine1, 6
  • 1 VA Palo Alto Health Care System, 795 Willow Road (MPD-152), Menlo Park, CA, 94025, USA , Menlo Park (United States)
  • 2 National Center on Homelessness Among Veterans, Menlo Park, CA, USA , Menlo Park (United States)
  • 3 Kaiser Permanente Colorado, Denver, CO, USA , Denver (United States)
  • 4 Colorado Permanente Medical Group, Denver, CO, USA , Denver (United States)
  • 5 University of Colorado School of Medicine, Aurora, CO, USA , Aurora (United States)
  • 6 Stanford University School of Medicine, Stanford, CA, USA , Stanford (United States)
Published Article
Addiction Science & Clinical Practice
BioMed Central
Publication Date
Feb 05, 2020
DOI: 10.1186/s13722-020-0182-0
Springer Nature


This special issue of Addiction Science & Clinical Practice, “Addiction treatment access and utilization among criminal justice involved populations”, presents a series of articles on substance use disorder treatment access and utilization by people who have contact with the criminal justice system (e.g., jails, prisons, and courts). Despite the high prevalence of substance use disorders among people who experience these settings, evidence-based treatment for substance use disorders may be unavailable and/or care may be fragmented during transitions between settings. Articles in this special issue address several gaps in the literature and present a conceptual model of opioid overdose risk, the results of a randomized controlled trial to increase treatment uptake and retention during and after incarceration, descriptions of barriers to treatment after release from incarceration, and data from nationally representative surveys of substance use disorders and treatment use among people who have been involved in the criminal justice system. Importantly, the voices of people with lived experience in the criminal justice system were incorporated in two manuscripts. Together these articles advance our understanding of how to improve care coordination and expansion of services across systems and organizations to prevent overdose, improve treatment utilization, and ultimately, improve health outcomes among criminal justice involved populations in the United States who have substance use disorders or use substances.

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