Massachusetts Health Policy Forum

Improving Access to Substance Abuse Treatment and Reducing Incarceration and Recidivism

Forum held on November 17, 2015

This forum provided data and analysis on access to substance abuse treatment with a focus on potential alternatives to incarceration. A presentation of the latest research was followed by a panel discussion with top state officials and stakeholders moderated by WBUR’s Martha Bebinger. The forum built on our 2014 forum on racial and ethnic disparities in mental health and behavioral health services, with a focus on: 

  • Disparities in access to quality substance abuse treatment
  • A review of evidence-based options
  • More effective treatment particularly for high users of the health care system
  • Treatment as an alternative or supplement to incarceration

This work was funded through generous grants from the Harvard Pilgrim Health Care Foundation and the Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts Foundation. The issue brief was supported by the Brandeis/Harvard Center to Improve System Performance of Substance Use Disorder Treatment.


Issue Brief