Skip directly to search Skip directly to A to Z list Skip directly to navigation Skip directly to page options Skip directly to site content

Helping Communities Take Action Against Opioid Crisis

Woman placing hand on man's shoulder in counseling

CDC is addressing the ongoing opioid overdose epidemic by working with communities to improve data collection and to implement evidence-based prevention strategies.

CDC provides the latest information to help prevent prescription and illicit drug overdoses in communities across the country. Awareness activities in August and September highlight the importance of strengthening the fight against opioid overdose.

August 31st marks International Overdose Awareness Day, a global event that aims to raise awareness of drug overdose and to reduce the stigma of a drug-related death. Prescription Opioid and Heroin Epidemic Awareness Week, which takes place on September 17th through 23rd, is a week to remember individuals, families, and communities impacted by the opioid overdose crisis. CDC observes these events by sharing resources for individuals and communities that increase awareness, help improve response, and emphasize the message that we must work together to prevent overdose deaths and save lives.

Supporting States and Scaling up Prevention Efforts

The health impacts of opioid misuse and abuse go beyond overdose and can include addiction, hepatitis, HIV infections, and neonatal abstinence syndrome, which is why preventing opioid misuse, addiction, and overdose is a priority for CDC. We are working to reduce these threats through research, education, and direct assistance to states and others on the frontlines.

CDC is addressing the ongoing opioid overdose epidemic by offering Overdose Prevention in States (OPIS), which are programs that equip states with scientific expertise and resources. These resources help combat prescription opioid misuse and illicit opioid use and overdose and are critical to ending the opioid overdose crisis devastating families, communities, and states across America.

CDC has also received federal funding to advance the understanding of the opioid overdose epidemic and to scale up prevention activities across all 50 states and Washington, DC. CDC activated the Cooperative Agreement for Emergency Response: Public Health Crisis Response, or OPIS Surge Support to award funds to states and other jurisdictions affected by the crisis. It emphasizes state-based prevention and enhancing community response.

People looking at table full of charts

Putting data into action in the fight against opioids

Putting Data to Action in the Fight Against Opioids

A public health approach, with more comprehensive and timely data, is needed to respond to the opioid overdose epidemic.

Data help us understand the extent of the epidemic, provide resources where they are needed, and evaluate the success of prevention efforts. CDC recognizes the importance of data and helps states track the epidemic and funds research to identify effective strategies to prevent opioid overdose.

Sharing data is critical to those efforts. CDC has new products that provide key data to those fighting this epidemic. These include the second Annual Surveillance Report [6.15 MB] summarizing the latest information at the national and state level including prescribing patterns, drug use, and fatal and nonfatal overdose. The data from this report can be used to monitor emerging trends and to help state, local, and tribal communities direct prevention efforts.

CDC also released two new publications: 1) Opioid Prescribing in the United States before and after the CDC’s 2016 Opioid Guideline, and 2) a new MMWR entitled Opportunities to prevent Overdose Deaths involving prescription and illicit opioids, 11 states, July 2016-June 2017. Both publications share important information that can be used by states and localities to plan and implement strategies to prevent opioid overdose deaths.

While the numbers may be daunting, the goal remains to prevent opioid overdoses and other negative outcomes resulting from opioid misuse. CDC will continue to focus on this goal by providing up-to-date data, funding, and other tools needed to reduce the burden of this crisis on Americans.

More Information

Learn more about opioids to protect yourself and loved ones from opioid misuse, substance use disorder, and overdose. Visit these websites for prevention resources and information about the opioid overdose epidemic in the United States:

SAMHSA’s National Helpline is a great resource to share with someone who may have a substance abuse issue. You can have them call 1-800-662-HELP (4537) or check out SAMHSA’s Behavioral Treatment Services Locator.

  • Page last reviewed: September 4, 2018
  • Page last updated: September 4, 2018
  • Content source:
TOP