Leo Beletsky, JD, MPH

Health Sciences


JD: Temple University
MPH: Brown University
Post-doctoral training: Yale University


Leo Beletsky’s expertise is in the public health impact of laws and their enforcement, with a special focus on drug overdose, infectious disease transmission, and criminal justice reform through a public health lens.  Throughout his career, Professor Beletsky has applied his skills and expertise in service to governmental agencies and non-governmental organizations, including the United Nations, The Pew Charitable Trusts, and the City of New York.

Institutional Affiliations and Appointments

Director, Health in Justice Action Lab
Faculty Scholar, Institute for Health Equity and Social Justice Research
Associate Adjunct Professor at the UC San Diego School of Medicine
Fellow, Justice Collaborative Institute

Research Interests

Social Epidemiology of Law and its Enforcement
Public Health Law
Overdose Prevention
Infectious Disease Prevention
Structural Determinants of Health

Selected Recent Publications

Beletsky L, Wakeman SE, and Fiscella K. Practicing What We Preach – Ending Physician Health Program Bans on Opioid-Agonist Therapy. New England Journal of Medicine 2019; 381(9):796-797.

Arredondo J, Beletsky L (joint first authors), Baker P, Abramovitz D, Artamonova I, Clairgue E, Morales M, Mittal ML, Rocha-Jimenez T, Kerr T, Banuelos A, Strathdee SA, and Cepeda J. Interactive Versus Video-Based Training of Police to Communicate Syringe Legality to People Who Inject Drugs: The SHIELD Study, Mexico, 2015–2016. American Journal of Public Health 2019; 109(6): 921-926.

Beletsky L, Baker P, Arredondo J, Emuka A, Goodman-Meza D, Medina-Mora ME, Werb D, Davidson P, Amon JJ, Strathdee SA and Magis-Rodriguez C. The global health and equity imperative for safe consumption facilities. The Lancet 2018; 392(10147):553-4

Fiscella K, Wakeman SE, and Beletsky, L. X the X-Waiver: Buprenorphine Deregulation and Mainstreaming Treatment for Opioid Use Disorder. Journal of the American Medical Association Psychiatry 2018; doi: 10.1001/jamapsychiatry.2018.3685.

Dasgupta N, Beletsky L (joint first authors), Ciccarone D. Opioid Crisis: No Easy Fix to Its Social and Economic Determinants. American Journal of Public Health. 108(2):182-186.


Global Health

Selected Public Service

  • Fellow, Justice Collaborative Institute
  • Expert Group Member, The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria
  • Consultant, Pew Charitable Trusts


Contact Information


120 KN


[email protected]



Curriculum Vitae