District of Columbia Priority Topic Investments

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District of Columbia Overdose Investment Snapshot

Combatting the current overdose crisis is a priority for the agency. This page provides an overview of the FY21 CDC Injury Center (NCIPC) Overdose investments for the District of Columbia.

There were 91,799 drug overdose deaths in the United States in 2020 (28.3 deaths per 100,000 standard population), a stark 30% increase from 2019. Approximately 75% of drug overdose deaths in 2020 involved an opioid, with synthetic opioids (e.g., illicitly manufactured fentanyls) accounting for more than 80% of all opioid-involved deaths. Drug overdose deaths involving synthetic opioids increased by 55% and deaths involving psychostimulants (e.g., methamphetamine) increased by 47% from 2019 to 2020. Drug overdose deaths involving cocaine also increased by 22%.

In 2020 in the District of Columbia there were:


overdose deaths


overdose deaths per 100,000 people (age-adjusted)

Source: NVSS – Drug Overdose Deaths

Overdose Funding At A Glance
Overdose Funding At A Glance
Washington, D.C


FY21 District of ColumbiaTotal Overdose Prevention Funding


FY21 Awards

Overdose Data to Action (OD2A)

  • District of Columbia State Award: $5,190,499

Public Health and Public Safety

  • Overdose Response Strategy: $74,500*



*average award amount

Examples of How the District of Columbia Is Working to Prevent Overdose

overdose strategies
Overdose data dissemination and linkage

Washington, DC, uses syndromic surveillance data from its seven emergency departments to track the drug overdose epidemic, publicly reporting monthly data to the DC opioid work group, the hospital association, and the community. DC also links emergency medical services and hospital data to health care billing and consumption, corrections, and city services data to better identify opioid overdose risk factors and new points of intervention.

Awareness campaign for residents

Washington, DC, developed an awareness campaign for individuals looking for recovery services for themselves and/or loved ones. Campaign materials featuring the DC Department of Health’s website were placed on city buses and trains. DC residents can learn the stories of individuals who have used recovery services, find a peer recovery specialist, or train to be a peer navigator in the community.

CDC Overdose Prevention Strategies

CDC’s Injury Center plays a critical role in addressing the drug overdose epidemic by driving progress in the five strategic priorities that guide CDC’s response framework for preventing overdoses.

Additional Resources