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Opioids, Summer Learning, Immigration: RAND Weekly Recap

December 7, 2018

This week, we discuss heroin-assisted treatment and supervised consumption sites; the risk of political violence in America; how to create summer learning programs that can help close the school achievement gap; why the U.S. immigration system is getting overwhelmed; obstacles facing Japanese forces in their bid to match China's air power; and how Gulf Coast communities can recover from a pair of overlapping environmental disasters.

Kits of supplies containing syringes, bandaids, and antiseptic pads in a safe injection site called Quai 9 near Geneva main train station, Switzerland, October 14, 2010

Kits of supplies containing syringes, bandaids, and antiseptic pads in a safe injection site called Quai 9 near Geneva main train station, Switzerland, October 14, 2010

Photo by Denis Balibouse/Reuters

Considering Heroin-Assisted Treatment and Supervised Drug Consumption Sites

Increasing access to medications like methadone and buprenorphine is essential to addressing the U.S. opioid crisis. But the severity of the crisis warrants examining additional interventions. What does the evidence suggest about heroin-assisted treatment and supervised consumption sites? And what are some of the issues associated with implementing them in the United States?

A member of the NYPD bomb squad walks outside the Time Warner Center in Manhattan after a suspicious package was found at CNN headquarters, New York City, October 24, 2018, photo by Kevin Coombs/Reuters

A member of the NYPD bomb squad walks outside the Time Warner Center in Manhattan after a suspicious package was found at CNN headquarters, New York City, October 24, 2018

Photo by Kevin Coombs/Reuters

How to Reduce the Risk of Political Violence in America

Recent events have stoked fears of broad political violence in the United States. The threat is indeed real and growing. But fortunately, it is not massive, says RAND's John Hollywood. And there are concrete steps that can be taken to reduce the risk. Suppressing motivations for political violence and perceptions that it is legitimate may be a worthy start.

Girls looking at a plant jar in a garden

Photo by Hero Images/Getty Images

Building Better Summer Learning Programs

During summer break, low-income and non-white students fall behind academically compared with their more-affluent and white peers. A newly updated RAND report provides guidance to help schools plan and run summer programs that can help close this gap. Recommendations cover when to start planning, how to recruit teachers, which curricula to select, and more.

Daniel holds 1-year-old Daniela, both from El Salvador, as a group of migrants from Central America en route to the United States crossed through the Suchiate River into Mexico, November 2, 2018

Migrants from Central America cross through the Suchiate River en route to the United States, November 2, 2018

Photo by Ueslei Marcelino/Reuters

Immigration Policy Options Are Limited

Last month, U.S. Customs and Border Protection personnel deployed tear gas to disperse migrants, including women and children, who were trying to claim asylum at the U.S.-Mexico border. The incident is a stark reminder of the need for immigration reform, says RAND's Blas Nuñez-Neto. The U.S. immigration system has been overwhelmed by a surge in asylum claims over the past five years. But under current law, the policy options to address this issue are limited, he says.

Japan's Self-Defense Forces F-15 fighter jets (top and bottom) conduct an exercise with U.S. Air Force B-1B Lancer bombers above the East China Sea, Japan, September 9, 2017

Japanese and U.S. forces conduct an exercise above the East China Sea, September 9, 2017

Photo by Air Staff Office of the Defense Ministry of Japan/Handout/Reuters

China and Japan in the East China Sea

China has stepped up its military activities near Japan, particularly around the Senkaku Islands. Japan has responded by making military improvements to better defend what it views as its airspace. But according to a new RAND report, Japanese forces face major obstacles to matching China's air power. Furthermore, Japan's current strategy may not be sustainable. The authors offer recommendations for both Japan and the United States.

Work crews on boats gather to clean marshland impacted by oil from the Deepwater Horizon spill in the Barataria Bay of Louisiana, June 17, 2010.

Work crews gather to clean marshland impacted by oil from the Deepwater Horizon spill in the Barataria Bay of Louisiana, June 17, 2010

Photo by Lee Celano/Reuters

How Can the Gulf Coast Recover from Dual Disasters?

Gulf Coast communities are still rebuilding from the 2010 Deepwater Horizon disaster. And recovering from the Taylor Energy spill may even be more daunting—oil from that incident has been leaking into the gulf since 2004. More resources are needed, says RAND's Melissa Finucane. But resources alone aren't enough. Smart and deliberate planning is essential to long-term recovery.

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