The devastating loss of life by overdose — more than one million Americans dead since 1999 — is made even more tragic because each of these deaths was entirely preventable.
Gaps and inequalities in the substance use disorder (SUD) treatment and harm reduction systems persist. In the United States, the likelihood of surviving an overdose or accessing SUD treatment depends on race, income level, and location.
The federal government can act now to prevent overdose deaths and ensure that there is "no wrong door" for people seeking treatment for SUD.
At the Overdose Prevention Initiative, we believe that comprehensive support for SUD is within reach, and by advancing federal policies that address the disparities, inequities, and stigma in the SUD treatment system, we can make a difference in the lives of people across the U.S. and prevent overdose deaths.
Promote accessible, low-threshold treatment for SUD
Remove barriers that create inequities in the treatment system
Decrease stigma and improve public perception of help-seeking
The death toll from the overdose crisis continues to climb, affecting families and communities across the United States. But overdose deaths are preventable — there are evidence-based solutions to the crisis, and the future increases in the overdose death rate are not a foregone conclusion.
We believe that strategic actions from Congress and the administration are key to overcoming the overdose crisis in the United States. Through deliberate and meaningful legislation, regulation, and funding, the federal government can set the stage for state and local organizations to provide treatment and overdose prevention support and save lives.
Medications for opioid use disorder (MOUD) are evidence-based forms of treatment that save lives and prevent overdose deaths. Policies that improve access to SUD treatment are key to reversing the overdose crisis.
We support policies that:
Inequity in the United States has a devastating effect on people touched by the overdose crisis. Data show that the likelihood of dying from an overdose is linked to an individual’s race, income level, insurance status, and ZIP code. Stigma against people with SUD further discourages treatment-seeking and prevents recovery.
We support policies that:
Harm reduction is a proven approach to reduce the overdose death rate, prevent the spread of diseases associated with drug use, and encourage people with SUD to seek treatment.
We advance policies that:
Download resources on the Overdose Prevention Initiative and its priorities to learn more policy solutions to the overdose crisis.
MEDIA CONTACT: Ben Orton-Vipond | email@example.com | (202) 481-9707
March 29, 2023: The Overdose Prevention Initiative Urges the DEA to Change Course on Proposed Telemedicine Controlled Substance Prescribing Rules
February 7, 2023: The Overdose Prevention Initiative praises President Biden’s focus on solving the overdose crisis in his 2023 State of the Union address
January 24, 2023: The Overdose Prevention Initiative joins White House and advocates in celebrating passage of the MAT Act
December 22, 2022: The Overdose Prevention Initiative applauds the passage of the MAT Act
December 2, 2022: The Overdose Prevention Initiative joins nearly 200 organizations to call on Congress to pass the MAT Act
September 29, 2022: The Overdose Prevention Initiative supports overdose prevention training for Congressional staff during National Recovery Month
September 23, 2022: The Overdose Prevention Initiative at GHAI praises the White House’s plan to stop overdose deaths, increase access to treatment and recovery resources
September 6, 2022: The Overdose Prevention Initiative at GHAI urges the U.S. Senate to act during Recovery Month, pass the MAT Act
July 23, 2022: The Overdose Prevention Initiative applauds the passage of the bipartisan Restoring Hope for Mental Health and Well-Being Act of 2022 (H.R.7666)
May 18, 2022: The House Energy and Commerce Committee passes the MAT Act in a significant, bipartisan majority
May 16, 2022: The Overdose Prevention Initiative at the Global Health Advocacy Incubator joins 100+ organizations to call on Congress to pass the MAT Act