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Episode 68: Opioid Addiction and the ADA with the Department of Justice

Wednesday, May 1, 2019


Episode 68 Resources: Opioid Addiction and the ADA

Recording & Transcripts



Episode 68 Transcript (PDF file)
Transcripción en español Charla 68- Adicción a opioide y la Ley ADA: Una conversación con el Departamento de Justicia (PDF file)


Stephanie Berger and Savannah Weston, Disability Rights Section (DRS) of the Civil Rights Division of the Department of Justice


Every day, more than 130 people in the United States die after overdosing on opioids. The misuse of and addiction to opioids—including prescription pain relieversheroin, and synthetic opioids such as fentanyl—is a serious national crisis that affects public health as well as social and economic welfare.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that the total “economic burden” of prescription opioid misuse alone in the United States is $78.5 billion a year, including the costs of healthcare, lost productivity, addiction treatment, and criminal justice involvement. (Source: National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA)

In the second episode of this series, Stephanie Berger and Savannah Weston, Attorney Advisors in the Disability Rights Section (DRS) of the Civil Rights Division of the Department of Justice, will discuss the Department of Justice’s Disability Rights Section and their role in the current opioid crisis in the US.

Featured Organization

Department of Justice, Disability Rights Section
The Disability Rights Section works to achieve equal opportunity for people with disabilities in the United States by implementing the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).  Through its multi-faceted approach toward achieving compliance with the ADA, this Section works to make this goal a reality.  The Section’s enforcement, regulatory, coordination, and technical assistance activities, required by the ADA, combined with an innovative mediation program, provide a cost-effective and dynamic approach for carrying out the ADA’s mandates.  The Section also carries out responsibilities for coordinating the consistent interpretation of Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act across the government. Section activities affect millions of businesses and non-profit agencies, thousands of units of state and local government, over 40 million people with disabilities, and over 100 Federal agencies and commissions in the Executive Branch.

You can find out more by visiting The Disability Rights Section Website