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

  • Dr. Shelby Hockenberry, Program Director, Health
  • Ken Hardy, Program Director, Public Safety And Legal Counsels
  • Dr. Elise T. Simonsen, Senior Policy Analyst, Public Safety And Legal Counsels
  • 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 ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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Publications

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 ...
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Behavioral Health Equity for All Communities: Policy Solutions to Advance Equity Across the Crisis Continuum

Behavioral Health Equity for All Communities: Policy Solutions to Advance Equity Across the Crisis Continuum

As a point of interception, equitable crisis response provides an opportunity to disrupt a cycle that has perpetuated longstanding challenges in underserved communities. (Download) Introduction The COVID-19 pandemic called widespread ...
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Expanding Access to Medications for Opioid Use Disorder Treatment for Justice-Involved Populations Under Community Supervision: Best Practices from Four States

Expanding Access to Medications for Opioid Use Disorder Treatment for Justice-Involved Populations Under Community Supervision: Best Practices from Four States

States discovered a variety of policy and programmatic approaches to improve the MOUD landscape. States were able to pilot interagency collaborations, launch training and education curricula and explore innovative solutions ...
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State Efforts to Improve the Continuum of Care for Substance Use Disorder and Opioid Use Disorder

State Efforts to Improve the Continuum of Care for Substance Use Disorder and Opioid Use Disorder

Lessons Learned from the National Governors Association Substance Use Disorder Learning Collaborative in Six States (Download) Executive Summary In June 2020, the National Governors Association (NGA) launched the Strengthening Substance ...
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Lessons Learned in State Collaboration to Address Substance Use Disorder and Justice-Involved Individuals

Lessons Learned in State Collaboration to Address Substance Use Disorder and Justice-Involved Individuals

This policy brief highlights lessons learned from collaborative efforts in Hawai‘i, Pennsylvania and West Virginia between SAAs and SSAs to address SUD issues within justice-involved populations. (Download) Executive Summary A ...
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State of the States Opioid Survey and Analysis

State of the States Opioid Survey and Analysis

Amidst a global pandemic that has challenged states’ capacities to respond to increasing overdose deaths, collecting and sharing information across partners to effectively respond to new challenges will be more ...
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Substance Use Disorder And Addiction Library

National Recovery Month - 2022

National Recovery Month – 2022

National Recovery Month, which started in 1989, is a national observance held every September to promote and support new evidence-based treatment and recovery practices, the nation’s strong and proud recovery ...
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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 ...
Read More
Behavioral Health Equity for All Communities: Policy Solutions to Advance Equity Across the Crisis Continuum

Behavioral Health Equity for All Communities: Policy Solutions to Advance Equity Across the Crisis Continuum

As a point of interception, equitable crisis response provides an opportunity to disrupt a cycle that has perpetuated longstanding challenges in underserved communities. (Download) Introduction The COVID-19 pandemic called widespread ...
Read More
Expanding Access to Medications for Opioid Use Disorder Treatment for Justice-Involved Populations Under Community Supervision: Best Practices from Four States

Expanding Access to Medications for Opioid Use Disorder Treatment for Justice-Involved Populations Under Community Supervision: Best Practices from Four States

States discovered a variety of policy and programmatic approaches to improve the MOUD landscape. States were able to pilot interagency collaborations, launch training and education curricula and explore innovative solutions ...
Read More
Governors’ 2022 Health Priorities

Governors’ 2022 Health Priorities

Governors have put forth defined plans and made their vision for improving the health of their state or territory clear through their state budgets and State of the State addresses ...
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State Efforts to Improve the Continuum of Care for Substance Use Disorder and Opioid Use Disorder

State Efforts to Improve the Continuum of Care for Substance Use Disorder and Opioid Use Disorder

Lessons Learned from the National Governors Association Substance Use Disorder Learning Collaborative in Six States (Download) Executive Summary In June 2020, the National Governors Association (NGA) launched the Strengthening Substance ...
Read More
4 States and Territories to Participate in NGA Policy Academy on Stimulant and Polysubstance Use

4 States and Territories to Participate in NGA Policy Academy on Stimulant and Polysubstance Use

National Governors Association to Work With American Samoa, Connecticut, Michigan and West Virginia on Improving Care for Individuals Who Use Stimulants American Samoa, Connecticut, Michigan and West Virginia will participate ...
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Lessons Learned in State Collaboration to Address Substance Use Disorder and Justice-Involved Individuals

Lessons Learned in State Collaboration to Address Substance Use Disorder and Justice-Involved Individuals

This policy brief highlights lessons learned from collaborative efforts in Hawai‘i, Pennsylvania and West Virginia between SAAs and SSAs to address SUD issues within justice-involved populations. (Download) Executive Summary A ...
Read More
National Recovery Month - 2021

National Recovery Month – 2021

National Recovery Month is held each September to promote and support new evidence-based treatment and recovery practices, the emergence of a strong and proud recovery community, and the dedication of ...
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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.