Drug Overdose Epidemic

The National Association of County and City Health Officials (NACCHO), with funding and support from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Division of Overdose Prevention, will be developing a new virtual training course for individuals responding to non-fatal overdose. The audience will include emergency medical service technicians, peer coaches or peer navigators, social workers, and other individuals who are part of a post overdose response team or quick response team (QRT).

The final deliverable will be a narrated asynchronous training course hosted on CDC’s website. The course will be 6-8 hours in duration with the number and length of modules determined by subject matter experts (SMEs), NACCHO and CDC.

Application requirements and full details of the project are available in the Request for Proposals (RFP). Applications are due by Thursday, November 5, 2020 no later than 5:00 om ET. Please use the subject line, “Instructional Design and E-learning Specialist”. NACCHO will confirm receipt of all applications within two business days, however, confirmation of receipt does not guarantee verification of completeness. Questions about the RFP and application process can be directed to NACCHO’s Overdose Prevention Team at IVP@naccho.org.

As the United States’ drug crisis persists, communities across the nation continue to be ravaged by the proliferation of prescription and illicit substances. Polysubstance dependence has exacerbated the current crisis.

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The substances causing overdose have now become as diverse and disparate as the communities they have infiltrated and damaged[1]. In 2018 alone, drug overdose claimed the lives of more than 67,300 Americans--steadily contributing to the more than 700,000 causalities recorded since 1999[2],[3]. Overdose rates continue to rise, demanding a progression in our understanding of the complexities surrounding substance use disorder.

The overdose epidemic is a widespread public health emergency, contributing to an increase in emergency department visits, non-fatal overdoses and widespread outbreaks of infectious diseases linked to intravenous drug use burdening public health with heavy economic costs from death, lost productivity and avoidable expenditures. The rapid rate of overdose deaths involving multiple drug types require a multifaced, all hands-on deck approach to reduce morbidity, mortality, and related harms. Through a harm reduction and health equity lens, surveillance and monitoring, increases in prevention and education, promotion of appropriate prescribing practices, and improvement and expansion of treatment and recovery services, these impacts can be mitigated—ultimately decelerating what has become a leading cause of death in the nation.

As the leading membership organization representing local health departments (LHDs), NACCHO recognizes drug overdose to be a significant public health concern, as well as the critical role that local health departments play in response to such a national emergency. NACCHO supports local health departments in their efforts to respond to the drug crisis through the implementation of evidence-based policies and programs from the prevention and treatment of substance use disorder and its related health consequences.

This webpage and toolkit will serve as a core resource providing information, resources and tools for LHDs seeking to build their capacity to respond to the drug overdose epidemic within their own communities. Resources will be continuously updated as the drug overdose epidemic develops.

If you have a resource you’d like to share, questions to ask or you’d like to learn more and be a part of the conversation around local responses to the drug overdose epidemic, please complete this form.


References
[1] Ogbu, U., Lotfipour, S., & Chakravarthy, B. (2015). Polysubstance Abuse: Alcohol, Opioids and Benzodiazepines Require Coordinated Engagement by Society, Patients, and Physicians [Abstract]. Western Journal of Emergency Medicine, 16(1), 76-79. doi:10.5811/westjem.2014.11.24720
[2] Hedegaard H, Miniño AM, Warner M. Drug Overdose Deaths in the United States, 1999–2018.pdf icon NCHS Data Brief, no 356. Hyattsville, MD: National Center for Health Statistics. 2020.
[3] Wilson N, Kariisa M, Seth P, et al. Drug and Opioid-Involved Overdose Deaths—United States, 2017-2018. MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep 2020;69:290-297.

NACCHO's Local Opioid Prevention and Response: A Primer for Local Health Departments serves to inform local health departments about the domestic opioid epidemic and share success stories from LHDs currently engaged in opioid-related efforts, as well as resources and informative sidebars. To download a copy from NACCHO’s bookstore, go to http://bit.ly/2HuJHaf, and sign in to your free myNACCHO account.

Please visit our toolkit for additional resources to assist local health departments build their own local and community-focused prevention and response efforts.

Have more questions, or know of a resource that could help other local health departments? Email us opioidepidemic@naccho.org!

Overdose Response Resources During the COVID-19 Pandemic

The COVID-19 pandemic has caused an unprecedented disruption to the normal operating procedures of local health departments (LHDs) and their partners. Understandably, staff capacity has been shifted as local public health staff work to arrest the spread of the virus and keep a worried public up to date as they are confronted with confusing mix of official announcements, news reports, and misinformation.

Unfortunately, the necessity for overdose prevention and response has not abated during the pandemic. Indeed, the substance use community faces increased risk as support services shutter or slow down operations, hospitals face severely increased caseloads, and people who use drugs are asked to socially distance from their support or safety groups.

Many LHDs have reached out to NACCHO for resources related to the pandemic and guidance about how to ensure their overdose response work can continue safely. Below is a curated list of resources for LHDs, the public, clinicians, harm reduction workers, and people who use drugs.

Please refer additional resource requests to opioidepidemic@naccho.org and we will attempt to assist you as soon as possible.

Community Health

Local Health Departments and the Opioid Epidemic: A Toolkit

See our list of resources for planning and implementing local responses to the opioid epidemic.

Community Health

Local Health Departments and the Opioid Epidemic: A Toolkit

Community Health

How-To Guide: Templates for LHD Opioid Prevention & Response

This short how-to guide instructs LHDs on how to use NACCHO's opioid-focused planning templates.

Community Health

How-To Guide: Templates for LHD Opioid Prevention & Response

Community Health

Environmental Scan: LHD Approaches to Opioid Use

Report on 198 LHDs surveyed by NACCHO on their opioid prevention and response activities.

Community Health

Environmental Scan: LHD Approaches to Opioid Use

Read Now

Evidence-Based Strategies for Preventing Opioid Overdose

Learn what's working in the United States.

Read Now

Evidence-Based Strategies for Preventing Opioid Overdose

Community Health

The Opioid Use Disorder Prevention Playbook

This resource lists strategies - or "plays" - that communities can replicate or adapt in real-time.

Community Health

The Opioid Use Disorder Prevention Playbook

Featured Resource

Local Opioid Prevention and Response

Download our latest resource to help address the opioid epidemic.

Featured Resource

Local Opioid Prevention and Response

NACCHO is engaged in opioid prevention and response efforts in many counties and cities.

Check out our recent blog posts related to the opioids epidemic in Stories from the Field.

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Community Health

Eastern Kentucky’s Successful Needle Exchange Program

Kentucky River District Health Department Advances Successful Needle Exchange Program

Community Health

Eastern Kentucky’s Successful Needle Exchange Program

Blog

Stories from the Field

Stories from the Field provides a means for local health departments to share their experiences and demonstrate the value of public health.

Blog

Stories from the Field

Read Now

Opioid Use Prevention & Response: Dayton & Montgomery County

Story from the Field: Approaches to Opioid Use Prevention and Response in Dayton & Montgomery County

Read Now

Opioid Use Prevention & Response: Dayton & Montgomery County

Community Health

Story from the Field: Chicago Department of Public Health

LHD Approaches to Opioid Use Prevention & Response: Chicago Department of Public Health

Community Health

Story from the Field: Chicago Department of Public Health

Read Now

Story from the Field: Florida Department of Public Health

LHD Approaches to Opioid Use Prevention & Response: Florida Department of Public Health

Read Now

Story from the Field: Florida Department of Public Health

Use the resources below to learn more about MRC projects that address the opioid epidemic and find other resources about local responses.

Public Health Preparedness

MRC Units Address Opioid Overdoses

Public Health Preparedness

MRC Units Address Opioid Overdoses

Learn More

Local Response to the Opioid Epidemic

Learn how NACCHO is supporting local health departments as they respond to the opioid epidemic.

Learn More

Local Response to the Opioid Epidemic

Community Health

Harm Reduction

Learn about our work to advance strategies that reduce the harms associated with substance use.

Community Health

Harm Reduction

NACCHO has several policy statements related to the Opioid Epidemic and its infectious disease consequences:

NACCHO also provides letters to Congress and the administration to influence policy in order to best support local health departments' response to the opioid epidemic, and advocates for sufficient funding to combat the opioid epidemic.


Legislative Actions

In March 2018, Michael E. Kilkenny, MD, MS Physician Director, Cabell-Huntington (WV) Health Department testified before the House Energy and Commerce Health Subcommittee in a hearing "Combating the Opioid Crisis: Prevention and Public Health Solutions." Watch the full video to see Dr. Kilkenny describe how his health department has successfully led community efforts to combat the dual epidemics of opioid misuse and infectious diseases associated with opioid addiction, or read NACCHO's recap of the hearing on Twitter.

On November 13, 2017, NACCHO hosted a Congressional briefing "Tackling the Opioid Epidemic and its Hidden Casualties: Local Health Departments on the Frontlines" with cosponsors National Association of Counties and U.S. Conference of Mayors, with panelists that represented a range of local stakeholders in the fight against opioid use and abuse.

If you have a resource you’d like to share, questions to ask, or you’d like to learn more and be part of the conversation around local response to the opioid epidemic, please complete the following form.

Use this space to ask questions or make suggestions to the NACCHO team.
If you have a resource that you'd like to share, you can upload it here.

Community Health

Harm Reduction

Learn about our work to advance strategies that reduce the harms associated with substance use.

Community Health

Harm Reduction

Get Involved

NACCHO Rural Health Section

Learn more about NACCHO's Rural Health Section and how you can get involved now.

Get Involved

NACCHO Rural Health Section

Community Health

Injury and Violence Prevention

Learn about NACCHO’s work to strengthen and support departments' Injury and Violence programs.

Community Health

Injury and Violence Prevention

New Resource: Conducting Affordable Care Act, Community Health Needs Assessments (CHNA) Targeted at the Opioid Overdose Epidemic

Opioid Focused CHNA Paper Cevasco Cover

Most fatal overdoses in the U.S. are opioid related, but also involve and other illicit substances. A new social determinant-based Community Health Needs Assessment tool applies a substance use journey, endemic prevalence, data source ideas, and program prioritization methods. Read Kevin E. Cevasco's "Conducting Affordable Care Act, Community Health Needs Assessments (CHNA) Targeted at the Opioid Overdose Epidemic."

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