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The Importance of Public Health Surveillance in Responding to Overdoses

March 12, 2020

States, territorial, and local governments continue to grapple with substance misuse and addictions. Today’s episode discusses why there needs to be a comprehensive response in public health surveillance, in particular around the opioid epidemic. After all, without thorough data, it’s tough for lawmakers to drive action that will reduce the prevalence and incidence of drug overdoses.

This episode also explores states that are considering novel initiatives to address non-fatal drug overdoses. Today we highlight Rhode Island and Vermont, where officials are looking at the substance misuse epidemic through a global lens to hold themselves accountable.


  • Ewa King, Ph.D., Associate Director of Health, Rhode Island Department of Health
  • Mark A. Levine, M.D., Commissioner, Vermont Department of Health