States Take On Heroin, Illicit Fentanyl to Combat Opioid Epidemic

The National Governors Association (NGA) today announced that seven states, AlabamaIowa, Kentucky, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Virginia and West Virginia, will participate in an NGA learning lab to help combat the opioid epidemic. Through the learning lab, these states will build on their existing efforts by developing and implementing strategic actions plans for reducing overdoses and deaths related to heroin and illicit fentanyl.

Inappropriate opioid prescribing has fueled one of the deadliest drug epidemics in our nation’s history, claiming the lives of 78 people every day. Though prescription opioid painkillers have driven a steady increase in drug-related overdose deaths over the last 15 years, heroin and illicit fentanyl have led to a more recent spike in deaths. In the midst of the current opioid crisis, governors and states are taking action to prevent opioid-related overdose and save lives.

The NGA Center for Best Practices (NGA Center) will provide technical assistance to assist the selected states in developing and carrying out action plans for reducing overdose and deaths related to opioids, with a particular emphasis on heroin and illicit fentanyl.

NGA learning labs provide an opportunity for a small group of state teams to learn about the details of a state program that is successfully putting an innovative practice in place. This is a six-month opportunity for governors’ senior staff and other state officials to receive technical assistance from the NGA Center and state experts in Rhode Island regarding effective strategies for reducing opioid overdose deaths.

Learn more about the NGA Center’s Health and Homeland Security and Public Safety Divisions.