Opioid Rapid Response Program (ORRP)

Mitigate Drug Overdose Risks Among Patients Experiencing Disrupted Access to Prescribers

Opioid Rapid Response Program (ORRP) is an interagency, coordinated federal effort to mitigate drug overdose risk among patients impacted by law enforcement actions that disrupt access to prescription opioids or medication assisted treatment/medication for opioid use disorder (MAT/MOUD). ORRP supports care continuity and risk reduction for patients by coordinating federal law enforcement actions and public health overdose risk mitigation.

ORRP is coordinated by:

  • The Office of the Assistant Secretary for Health (OASH)
  • U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
  • The Office of the Inspector General within the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS OIG)

ORRP grew out of the Appalachian Region Prescription Opioid Strike Force (ARPO), which began in 2018 to combat the opioid overdose epidemic by identifying, investigating, and effectively and efficiently prosecuting medical professionals involved in the illegal prescription and distribution of opioids in six states: Ohio, West Virginia, Virginia, Kentucky, Tennessee, and Alabama. In coordination with ARPO, ORRP (then known as Opioid Rapid Response Teams) was founded to help state and local authorities ensure that patients dependent on pain medications, who lost access to a prescriber due to ARPO efforts, were directed to reputable professionals and addiction treatment providers.

Today, ORRP supports all 50 US states and the District of Columbia. The program leverages relationships across federal, state, and local agencies to facilitate timely communication, care coordination, risk reduction, and other overdose prevention interventions. ORRP coordinators within CDC’s Division of Overdose Prevention and HHS OIG work closely with law enforcement agents involved in each action to ensure that sensitive information remains confidential and the integrity of an investigation is not compromised.

ORRP Strategic Components

All ORRP efforts align with one of four strategic components to help strengthen care continuity and overdose risk mitigation.

Federal Law Enforcement Coordination with State Health Officials
  • Establish and engage state public health and behavioral health agency officials as “trusted contacts” in every state and DC
  • Engage with federal law enforcement agents before they take action that could result in a prescription supply disruption
  • Assist states in assessing risks to patient populations and determining appropriate mitigation measures
  • Follow up with state health and federal law enforcement after an action
  • Monitor outcomes
State and Local Preparedness
  • Provide technical support and training for state and local jurisdictions preparing for a disruption in prescription opioid or MAT/MOUD supply
  • Develop communication materials and templates for state and local health officials to use during clinic closures and overdose spikes (e.g., health alerts, flyers with referral hotlines, information about risks associated with counterfeit pills, and how to access harm reduction resources)
  • Conduct tabletop exercises with states in partnership with the Association of State and Territorial Health Officials (ASTHO)external icon
  • Monitor states’ preparedness efforts
Training and Workforce Development
  • Develop and disseminate ORRP training on opioids, treatment, and overdose prevention for clinicians and non-clinicians
  • Train law enforcement officials on opioid use disorders, treatment, and overdose prevention strategies
  • Train healthcare professionals to support jurisdictions’ opioid rapid response efforts, including linkages to care, gap care, care coordination, motivational interviewing, and pain management
Outcome Monitoring
  • Utilize available healthcare data sets to assess patient outcomes following discontinued access to a prescriber of opioids or MOUD.

Additional Resources

Online Training Available

The Opioid Rapid Response Program Online Training provides federal responders with knowledge of the current opioid crisis. State, local, tribal and territorial health agencies can now access this training to support their agency’s efforts. Learn more about Opioid Rapid Response Program Online Training.

Responding to a Pain Clinic Closure

ORRP partners with ASTHO to facilitate scenario-based tabletop exercises with states. ASTHO also collects and shares materials developed and used by state, local, tribal and territorial health agencies to respond to disruptions in prescription opioid supply

Communicating in a Crisis

Crisis and Emergency Risk Communication (CERC) in Response to an Opioid Overdose Event pdf icon[PDF], outlines the six principles of CERC and how to apply them to an opioid overdose event.