Journal of Public Management & Social Policy


As opioid addiction has spread across the country, media discourse around opioid abuse has consistently increased. A content analysis of local newspaper articles from the state of Massachusetts reveals that political and administrative officials conceive of Narcan in distinct ways. Administrators, including police and fire officials, see Narcan as a means to accomplish their organizational mission. Conversely, elected officials are primarily concerned with cost, legal ramifications and the broad impact of the opioid crisis, remaining disconnected from street-level concerns. In delineating these divergent perspectives, this article provides two unique contributions: first, it applies policy feedback theory as a framework to address a real-world problem, bridging the gap between theory and practice in public administration. Second, it expounds upon the differences in rhetoric found in print media to outline specific ways in which the perspectives of elected and administrative officials may influence Narcan policy.



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