Blurring the Boundaries between Health Care and Law Enforcement: How the Opioid Crisis Facilitates Change in Professional Fields

Medical Sociology/Socio-Legal Studies/Organizational Theory/Opioids/Law/Medicine/Pharmacy

This project examines how the fields of health care and criminal justice are addressing the opioid crisis in three states—California, Missouri, and Florida. The study addresses how these fields address a shared social problem, how they work collaboratively and combatively, how they use shared technology in the form of prescription drug monitoring programs, and implications for inequality in patient care. This research is sponsored by the National Science Foundation.

Students will work with Professor Chiarello on one of two teams—a qualitative team responsible for coding and analyzing qualitative interview data and a quantitative team responsible for coding disciplinary actions by professional boards and DEA over a 20-year period. No special skills are required to participate. Students on the qualitative team will learn how to code and analyze qualitative data, how to conduct literature reviews, and how to use Atlas.ti qualitative coding software. Students on the quantitative team will learn data entry skills, database management skills, and data analysis. Students on both teams will contribute to the project and to social science more generally by helping to build original databases that will be analyzed for the current study and that will be archived for future use by other researchers.