Substance Use Disorder And Addiction

Governors have long been at the forefront of efforts to prevent and treat opioid use disorder and substance use disorder, working with stakeholders to mount a comprehensive response to the opioid epidemic.

Since 2012, the National Governors Association Center for Best Practices has supported states in their efforts to help prevent and treat substance use disorder. Over the years, NGA Health and NGA Public Safety and Legal Counsel have jointly worked with states to identify and implement evidenced based best practices related to substance use disorder. NGA focus areas include but are not limited to:

  • Sharing evidenced based prevention, treatment, and recovery strategies and programs;
  • Using data and evaluation in policy development;
  • Improving outcomes for targeted populations (justice-involved individuals, pregnant and parenting women, LGBTQIA+, people of color, and other historically underrepresented populations);
  • Expanding access to medication for opioid use disorder (MOUD);
  • Identifying trends in polysubstance use and identifying comprehensive responses to addiction;
  • Addressing infectious diseases as a result of SUD/OUD;
  • Strategies to improve the treatment of individuals with co-occurring disorders; and
  • Increasing access to non-opioid management of chronic pain.

Meet Our Team

  • Marianne Gibson, Program Director, Substance Use and Mental Health
  • Lauren Dedon, Senior Legal Policy Advisor
  • Maria Kearl, Policy Analyst, Public Safety and Legal Counsels

Projects

Improving Care For Stimulant And Polysubstance Use

Improving Care For Stimulant And Polysubstance Use

NGA has hosted a series of learning calls with national experts, Governors’ office staff and senior officials, researchers, academics, and local organizations to better understand the current landscape and challenges from state leaders for addressing stimulant and polysubstance use at the state level. The overdose epidemic has unfolded through various ...
Improving Outcomes for Individuals with Opioid Use Disorder on Community Supervision

Improving Outcomes for Individuals with Opioid Use Disorder on Community Supervision

A project for the development of innovative approaches to improving community supervision of individual with substance use disorder. While states have made progress in implementing and expanding access to treatment services for justice-involved individuals within correctional facilities, many states continue to encounter significant barriers to continuity of care and access ...
Expanding Access for Medication for Opioid Use Disorder for Justice Involved Individuals

Expanding Access for Medication for Opioid Use Disorder for Justice Involved Individuals

Since 2019, the National Governors Association, in partnership with the American Correctional Association, has supported at least 14 states to expand access to MOUD among justice involved individuals. NGA supported states in developing and executing strategic plans to build and strengthen collaborations and partnerships between public safety and public health ...

Publications

Opioid Litigation Settlement Funds Summit

Opioid Litigation Settlement Funds Summit

The Opioid Litigation Settlement Funds Summit highlighted the essential role Governors play in ensuring that opioid settlement funds are used to their fullest potential while not supplanting existing resources. (Download) ...
Implementing Best Practices Across the Continuum of Care to Prevent Overdose

Implementing Best Practices Across the Continuum of Care to Prevent Overdose

This Roadmap provides Governors with 17 specific, actionable recommendations to prevent overdose across five pillars of the Substance Use Disorder Continuum of Care: foundations, prevention, harm reduction, treatment, and recovery ...
State and Territory Approaches to Improving Care for Individuals Affected by Stimulant and Polysubstance Use

State and Territory Approaches to Improving Care for Individuals Affected by Stimulant and Polysubstance Use

The Stimulant and Polysubstance Use Policy Academy provided states and territories with the opportunity to assess their current strategies and infrastructure for stimulant and polysubstance use using a comprehensive approach ...
Leveraging Telehealth for Justice-involved Populations With Substance Use Disorders

Leveraging Telehealth for Justice-involved Populations With Substance Use Disorders

This brief reviews activities undertaken by states to expand the use of telehealth for justice-involved individuals with SUDs during the COVID-19 pandemic, share lessons learned, and highlight considerations for Governors ...
Youth Mental Health and Substance Use

Youth Mental Health and Substance Use

In a time when the drug supply is more lethal than ever, preventing substance use and mitigating risk among youth is a critical bipartisan priority. (Download) Mental health conditions and ...
Supporting and Sustaining Access to Harm Reduction Services for People Who Use Drugs

Supporting and Sustaining Access to Harm Reduction Services for People Who Use Drugs

Harm reduction approaches are focused on minimizing the health, social and economic effects of drug use, including infectious disease spread and overdose with humility and compassion toward people who use ...

Substance Use Disorder And Addiction Library

Recognizing Fentanyl Awareness Day

Recognizing Fentanyl Awareness Day

May 7, 2024, is National Fentanyl Awareness Day, which aims to raise awareness of the ongoing overdose crisis along with the dangers of fentanyl and its devastating impact on communities ...
State Considerations for the 42 CFR Part 8 Rule

State Considerations for the 42 CFR Part 8 Rule

On Thursday, April 18, 2024, the National Governors Association (NGA) health team hosted individuals representing 20 states at a virtual meeting of the Opioid State Action Network (OSAN). This month’s ...
Opioid Litigation Settlement Funds Summit

Opioid Litigation Settlement Funds Summit

The Opioid Litigation Settlement Funds Summit highlighted the essential role Governors play in ensuring that opioid settlement funds are used to their fullest potential while not supplanting existing resources. (Download) ...
NGA Releases Roadmap for Tackling Drug Overdose Epidemic

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 ...
Implementing Best Practices Across the Continuum of Care to Prevent Overdose

Implementing Best Practices Across the Continuum of Care to Prevent Overdose

This Roadmap provides Governors with 17 specific, actionable recommendations to prevent overdose across five pillars of the Substance Use Disorder Continuum of Care: foundations, prevention, harm reduction, treatment, and recovery ...
State and Territory Approaches to Improving Care for Individuals Affected by Stimulant and Polysubstance Use

State and Territory Approaches to Improving Care for Individuals Affected by Stimulant and Polysubstance Use

The Stimulant and Polysubstance Use Policy Academy provided states and territories with the opportunity to assess their current strategies and infrastructure for stimulant and polysubstance use using a comprehensive approach ...
Leveraging Telehealth for Justice-involved Populations With Substance Use Disorders

Leveraging Telehealth for Justice-involved Populations With Substance Use Disorders

This brief reviews activities undertaken by states to expand the use of telehealth for justice-involved individuals with SUDs during the COVID-19 pandemic, share lessons learned, and highlight considerations for Governors ...
State and Federal Actions to Respond to Xylazine

State and Federal Actions to Respond to Xylazine

Xylazine, also known as “tranq,” is a non-opioid drug commonly used for veterinary purposes which has been showing up more frequently in the illicit drug supply. To address the significant ...
Youth Mental Health and Substance Use

Youth Mental Health and Substance Use

In a time when the drug supply is more lethal than ever, preventing substance use and mitigating risk among youth is a critical bipartisan priority. (Download) Mental health conditions and ...

Resources

  • Vital Signs on overdose disparities by race, ethnicity, and other important social determinants.
  • DOSE Dashboard includes monthly and annual nonfatal overdose data from syndromic surveillance systems in 42 states, including the District of Columbia. This represents the most up to date data that CDC’s DOSE system has available and is updated shortly after new data are made available each month. The dashboard provides data visualization that responsively adjusts to your selection of drug, state, month/year, age, and sex.  
  • SUDORS Dashboard includes comprehensive drug overdose data from 2020, from funded jurisdictions that met inclusion criteria. Participating jurisdictions provided data from death certificates and medical examiner/coroner reports (including scene findings, autopsy reports, and full postmortem toxicology findings). The dashboard provides a downloadable dataset that includes annual counts, percentages, and rates of drug overdose deaths per 100,000 persons.
  • Overdose Funding Snapshots are a useful repository for federal and state funding data. These pages contain a history of CDC’s overdose funding, major milestones, and an interactive map with clickable states featuring individual state investments and key examples of work therein.
  • CDC Feature: International Overdose Awareness Day: A Time to Remember and Take Action, CDC’s IOAD feature, presents vital overdose statistics, offers tips on recognizing signs of overdose, and provides informational resources. 
  • A qualitative assessment of circumstances surrounding drug overdose deaths during the early stages of the COVID-19 pandemic, SUDORS Data Brief: The latest SUDORS data brief presents a qualitative assessment of circumstances surrounding drug overdose deaths during early stages of the COVID-19 pandemic, most notably physical and mental impacts of the pandemic and missed touchpoints or opportunities for intervention. It is critical to expand SUD screening, link persons into care and treatment, retain persons in SUD treatment, and expand telehealth during emergencies to identify and provide services to persons at increased risk of overdose.