Leo BeletskyAssociate Professor of Law and Health Sciences
Vassar College, AB 2000
Brown University, MPH 2004
Temple University, JD 2008
Mail: 416 Huntington Avenue
Boston, MA 02115
Tel: (617) 373-5540
Fax: (617) 373-5056
Professor Beletsky holds a joint appointment with the School of Law and Bouvé College of Health Sciences. His expertise is on the use of law to improve health, with focus on drug policy, reducing the spread of HIV and other infectious diseases, and the role of the criminal justice system in shaping public health outcomes. By melding legal and scientific knowledge, he designs and evaluates interventions such as laws intended to curb opioid overdose and police trainings to align enforcement practices with public health policies and goals. Throughout his career, Professor Beletsky has applied his skills and expertise in service to governmental agencies and non-governmental organizations, including the United Nations, US Department of Justice, and the City of New York.
Prior to joining the Northeastern community, Professor Beletsky was on the faculty of the Division of Global Public Health at the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine, where he retains an adjunct appointment. He received his undergraduate training in geography from Vassar College and Oxford University, a master’s in public health from Brown University, his law degree from Temple University School of Law, and his post-doctoral training at the Yale University Center for Interdisciplinary Research on AIDS. He is a member of the New York State Bar.
Fields of Expertise
- Public Health Law and Policy
- Empirical Methods
- Drug Law and Policy
- Criminal Justice and Policing
- Infectious Disease Prevention and Policy
- Health Disparities and Human Rights
- Global Health
- Comparative Law
- “Law Enforcement, Drugs and the ‘Public Health’ Approach,” The Crime Report (April 19, 2016).
- “Prevalence and Correlates of Needle-Stick Injuries Among Active Duty Police Officers in Tijuana, Mexico,” 19 Journal of the International AIDS Society (2016).
- “Utilization of Google Enterprise Tools to Georeference Survey Data among Hard-To-Reach Groups: Strategic Application in International Settings,” International Journal of Health Geographics (July 28, 2016) (co-author).
- “Police Encounters Among Needle Exchange Clients in Baltimore: Drug Law Enforcement as a Structural Determinant of Health,” 15 American Journal of Public Health No. 9 (2015) (co-author).
- “Fatal Re-Entry: Legal and Programmatic Opportunities to Curb Opioid Overdose among Individuals Newly Released from Incarceration,” 7 Northeastern University Law Journal 155 (2015) (co-author).
- “Implementing Mexico’s “Narcomenudeo” Drug Law Reform: A Mixed-Methods Assessment of Early Experiences among People Who Inject Drugs,” Journal of Mixed Methods Research (In Press) (co-author).
- “Engaging Law Enforcement in Overdose Reversal Initiatives: Authorization and Liability for Naloxone Administration,” American Journal of Public Health (2015) (co-author).
- “As Heroin Deaths Skyrocket, Prescription Monitoring Programs May Do More Harm,” The Huffington Post (March 18, 2015).
- “Expanding Coercive Treatment Is The Wrong Solution For The Opioid Crisis,” HealthAffairsBlog (February 11, 2016).
- “The Benefits and Potential Drawbacks in the Approval of EVZIO for Lay Reversal of Opioid Overdose,” 48 American Journal of Preventative Medicine 357 (2014).
- “Syringe Access, Syringe Sharing, and Police Encounters Among People Who Inject Drugs in New York City: A Community-Level Perspective,” 25(1) International Journal of Drug Policy 105 (2014) (co-author).
- “A Drug That Should Be Easier to Get,” The New York Times (March 17, 2014).
- “To Honor Hoffman, Focus on Prevention, not the Drug War,” The Huffington Post (February 3, 2014).
- “Advancing Human Rights in Patient Care: The Law in Seven Transitional Countries,” Open Society Foundation (Open Society Foundation, 2013) (co-author).
- “Access to Syringes for HIV Prevention for Injection Drug Users in St. Petersburg, Russia: Syringe Purchase Test Study,” 13 BMC Public Health 183 (2013) (co-author).
- “Police Officers' and Paramedics' Experiences with Overdose and their Knowledge and Opinions of Washington State's Drug Overdose-Naloxone-Good Samaritan law,” 90(6) Journal of Urban Health 1102 (2013) (co-author).
- “Police Education as a Component of a National HIV Response: Lessons from Kyrgyzstan,” 132 Drug Alcohol Depend 48 (2013) (co-author).
- “Beyond the Anti-Prostitution Pledge: The Public Health Buck Does Not Stop Here,” The Huffington Post (June 21, 2013).
- “We Can Fight This Feeling: The Loss of Cory Monteith and How We Can Prevent Future Overdose Fatalities,” The Huffington Post (July 25, 2013).
- “Policy Reform to Shift the Health and Human Rights Environment for Vulnerable Groups: The Case of Kyrgyzstan’s Instruction 417," 14(2) Health and Human Rights 1 (2012) (co-author).
- “Prevention of Fatal Opioid Overdose," 308(18) Journal of the American Medical Association 1863 (2012) (co-author).
- “Harmonizing Disease Prevention and Police Practice in the Implementation of HIV Prevention Programs: Up-Stream Strategies from Wilmington, Delaware,” 9(17) Harm Reduction Journal (2012) (co-author).
- “Syringe Confiscation as an HIV Risk Factor: the Public Health Implications of Arbitrary Policing in Tijuana and Ciudad Juarez, Mexico,” 90(2) Journal of Urban Health 1099 (co-author).
- “Mexico’s Northern Border Conflict: Collateral Damage to Health and Human Rights of Vulnerable Groups,” 31(5) Pan American Journal of Public Health 304 (2012) (co-author).
- “Police Training to Align Law Enforcement and HIV Prevention: Preliminary Evidence from the Field,” 101(11) American Journal of Public Health 2012 (2011) (co-author).
- “The Roles of Law, Client Race, and Program Visibility in Shaping Police Interference with the Operation of Syringe Exchange Programs,” 106(2) Addiction 257 (2011) (co-author).
- “Stopping an Invisible Epidemic: Legal Issues in the Provision of Naloxone to Prevent Opioid Overdose,” 1 Drexel Law Review 273 (2009) (co-author).
- “Policy Innovation in the Time of New Federalism: Legal Framework for Safe Injection Facilities in the United States,” 53 St. Louis University Law Journal 1089 (2009) (co-author).
- “Do Criminal Laws Influence HIV Risk Behavior? An Empirical Trial,” 39 Arizona State Law Journal 467 (2007) (co-author).
- “Physicians’ Attitude Towards and Willingness to Prescribe Naloxone to Treat Accidental Opiate Overdose: Challenges and Opportunities,” 84(1) Journal of Urban Health 126 (2006) (co-author).
- “Marijuana in Massachusetts, What Happens Now That It's Legal?,” news@Northeastern (November 28, 2016).
- “On the Safe Side: Can Supervised Injection Facilities Help Reduce US HIV Rates?,” POZ Magazine (August 15, 2016).
- “DEA Is Cracking down on Physicians Who Overprescribe Pills,” Pittsburgh Post Gazette (August 12, 2016).
- “Are Safe Injection Facilities for Heroin Users a Step in the Right Direction?” news@Northeastern (March 2, 2016).
- “Legal Experts: Law Enforcement Officers Should be Authorized to Administer Overdose Antidote,” news@Northeastern (June 15, 2015).
- “A New Tool in Drug Overdose Prevention,” news@Northeastern (October 30, 2014).
- “Massachussets Limits Use of the Potent Painkiller Zohydro,” The Boston Globe (April 23, 2014).
- “Naloxone ‘Stigma’ a Barrier to Prescribing,” MedPageToday.com (April 9, 2014).
- “FDA OK’s Injector Device to Counter Drug Overdoses,”The Boston Globe (April 4, 2014).