National overdose trends indicate the need for a comprehensive, public health approach that encompasses primary prevention of substance use, overdose and mortality prevention, monitoring and surveillance, and access to treatment, recovery and harm reduction services. ASTHO provides capacity building and technical assistance for state and territorial health agencies in these areas to build strong public health leadership for substance use prevention and surveillance, establish effective multidisciplinary partnerships, and support the implementation of policies that are informed by evidence. 


Strategic Planning Tools, Resources, and Considerations for Overdose Data to Action

This resource maps the tools introduced through the strategic planning technical assistance in Nebraska onto each of the steps followed during the series.

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The Role of Syringe Services Programs in New Mexico’s Opioid Crisis Response

Success in leveraging partnerships to reduce substance-related harm and enhance wellness can serve as a model for taking a more holistic approach to harm reduction.

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Responding to an Overdose Spike: A Guide for State Health Departments Experiences Stakeholder Mapping Roadmap

This guide shares action steps for each phase of the planning and response process, job action sheets, and more.

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Latest Resources


Opioid Use Disorder Toolkit: Supporting the Public Health Response in Maternal, Child and Adolescent Health

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Facts and Actions to Encourage Access to Naloxone in Schools

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States Using Settlement Fund Legislation to Enhance Response to the Opioid Crisis

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ASTHO’s Most Used Resources of 2021

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Preventing Overdose and Suicide Through Housing Reform

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Building Capacity and Dedicating Field Staff to Address Substance Use Disorders During COVID-19

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States Explore the Relationship Between Partner Violence and Substance Use Disorders

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Creating a Shared Approach to Suicide and Overdose Prevention

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Overdose Data to Action (OD2A)

ASTHO is a technical assistance and capacity building partner for CDC’s Overdose Data to Action (OD2A) cooperative agreement to address the opioid overdose epidemic. ASTHO supports OD2A recipients’ opioid overdose prevention and surveillance efforts, including initiatives around:

  • overdose morbidity and mortality data
  • innovative surveillance strategies
  • prescription drug monitoring programs (PDMP)
  • state and local integration
  • linkage to care
  • provider and health systems support
  • public health/public safety partnership
  • other innovative prevention strategies

Opioid Preparedness

ASTHO works closely with CDC’s Opioid Rapid Response Program to enhance state capacity to respond to opioid emergency events, including overdose spikes and opioid provider closures. ASTHO assists members by conducting tabletop preparedness exercises with state health agencies and their partners, and developing resources based on identified jurisdictional needs.

Overdose Mortality Data Improvement

ASTHO works with medicolegal death investigators, such as medical examiners and coroners (ME/Cs), to support effective investigations of overdose deaths. ASTHO recognizes that ME/Cs are integral to overdose monitoring and surveillance efforts, as well as public health mortality surveillance more broadly, and seeks to support these systems as part of the broader public health workforce. Key initiatives include efforts to improve drug specificity on death certificates, address the national shortage of forensic pathologists, and the Project ECHO on Overdose Fatality Investigation Techniques.