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. 


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Opioid Preparedness: Disruptions in Access to Prescription Opioids

ASTHO and ORRP have conducted scenario-based preparedness exercises to support planning for and responding to disruptions in access to opioid prescriptions or medications for opioid use disorder.

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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 Overdose Prevention Resources

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ASTHO’s 2024 Legislative Session Update: Part One

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Recipient Orientation Handbook for OD2A State and LOCAL Cooperative Agreements

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The Fentanyl Crisis Requires Ongoing and Strategic Federal Action

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Overdose Prevention Policy Considerations: A Policy Playbook for State and Territorial Health Officials and Agencies

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Health Equity in Overdose Data to Action

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How State Health Departments Can Reduce Stigma to Improve Care for Patients Taking Long-Term Opioid Therapy

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How Healthcare Providers Can Reduce Stigma to Improve Care for Patients Taking Long-Term Opioid Therapy

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Substance Misuse 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-related emergencies, including overdose spikes and disruptions in access to opioid prescriptions. ASTHO assists members by conducting opioid 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.