KSU hosts public health speaker


Dr. Duane McBride, a profesor from Andrews University, speaks at Moulton Hall on Thursday about drug policy. Photo by Lindsay Frumker.

Michaela Write

Public health is the hottest national debate right now, and drug policy should be part of the discussion, said Duane McBride during his speech Thursday on “The Evolution of Drug Policy: The Role of States and Communities.”

McBride studies the prevention of risky health behaviors, drug policy, health services and the drugs-crime relationship. He is the research professor and chair of the behavioral sciences department at Andrews University in Berrien Springs, Mich.

“Maybe our best hope in the public health community is getting advocacy for freedom of policy, doing away with mandatory minimums, not sending 15-year-olds to adult courts (and) diversion to treatment,” he said explaining that punishment for drug possession is not uniform.

McBride also spoke about prohibition, the cocaine break, medical marijuana and drug addiction. He said the best hope for drug policy in public health might be in community experiments.

“Public health needs to worry about economic development,” he said. “Population health dramatically improves if there’s a job opportunity, educational opportunity and dramatic emphasis.”

Frank Henry-Ala, member of the Public Health Student Alliance and a health policy and management major in Kent State’s master’s program, agreed with McBride that public health can be an advocate for accessing health care.

“Public health in general is about promotions,” Henry-Ala said. “So an advocate for health care in a college such as this shows who is being affected by it. Health policy and management focuses on policy and manages how the message gets out there and how implementing those things changes for certain things like health care reform.”

McBride came to Kent State as part of the public health speaker series that is sponsored by the College of Public Health and the Public Health Student Alliance.

Contact Michaela Write at [email protected].