NGA Releases Roadmap for Tackling Drug Overdose Epidemic

Roadmap Outlines Strategies Targeting Growing Impact of Fentanyl

Washington, DC –The National Governors Association (NGA) released a roadmap to help support Governors and state officials in developing policy solutions to address unprecedented opioid overdose rates. Titled “Implementing Best Practices Across the Continuum of Care to Prevent Overdose,” the roadmap outlines concrete solutions across the full spectrum of health services: foundations, prevention, harm reduction, treatment, and recovery.

Developed in coordination with the O’Neill Institute at Georgetown University Law Center, the roadmap is based on the contributions of more than 30 subject matter experts and 20 states and territories — providing Governors with 17 specific, actionable recommendations to prevent overdose across five pillars of the Substance Use Disorder Continuum of Care.

An update to NGA’s 2016 roadmap, the new publication reflects the evolving nature of the ongoing drug overdose epidemic and includes strategies specific to the rise of illicitly manufactured fentanyl.

Overdose deaths have increased significantly – primarily attributed to illicitly manufactured fentanyl. From 2019 to 2021, overdose death rates increased in all 50 states; death rates in 40 states increased by more than 25%. The national overdose death rate in 2021 reached 32.4 per 100,000 people, compared to 6.1 in 1999. Overdose deaths among adolescents increased 109% from 2019 to 2021, despite low youth substance use rates.

The roadmap highlights 10 states’ initiatives that exemplify best practices and innovative strategies in overdose prevention.

View the full report.