Juli Leber and Emily McPherson on the Mental Health Download

Happy New Year, friends! The first Mental Health Download episode of 2024 is live, and it’s a timely one. According to the Oklahoma Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services, the rate of unintentional drug overdose deaths increased 67% from 2019 to 2021, and methamphetamine was involved in nearly two-thirds of those tragic occurrences.  

Today, we spoke with Juli Leber and Emily McPherson, Mental Health Policy Fellows at Healthy Minds Policy Initiative about harm reduction for those living with substance use disorder. 

Emily is researching methamphetamine overdose and harm reduction, and Julie has been focusing on programs of assertive community treatment. Together, they were also Zarrow Mental Health Symposium presenters at last year’s event, New Horizons in Brain Science, during which they used Tulsa, Oklahoma as a case study. Their presentation explored treatment models and community partnerships that addressed rising rates of methamphetamine use. It also spoke to how harm reduction and contingency management show how pathways in the brain are being used and strengthened to reduce overdose deaths. 

Click here to listen. We hope you find the conversation insightful!