Removing Barriers to Recovery: Community Partnering for Innovative Solutions to the Opioid Crisis


The project will evaluate an intervention designed to increase the availability of drug treatment through novel online tools that improve access to justice. Unresolved legal obligations frequently prevent substance users from entering into and sustaining drug treatment. Accordingly, access to justice enhances the availability of treatment opportunities and, potentially, post-treatment success. The access-to-justice intervention leverages UM-inspired software and an innovative community partnership between courts and non-profits to help people resolve outstanding warrants and other legal issues easily without having to hire an attorney. Through analysis of survey, court, and agency data, the study will measure the effects of drug treatment and access to justice indicators, including ongoing substance use, family reunification, residential mobility, housing, income, employment, arrests, health, and mortality. The goal of the project is to better understand the barriers to long-term recovery from addiction and how collaboration between existing public and private actors can improve lives and local economies in a cost-efficient manner.

Status: Ongoing
Funding: INNOVATE, Central Student Government, University of Michigan, and various community sponsors
Faculty Engagement: Meghan M. O’Neil, Ph.D.
Category: Research