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


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Substance Use Disorder And Addiction Library

Governors Urge Continued Federal Action Combatting Opioid Epidemic

WASHINGTON DC — Today National Governors Association (NGA) Chair Brian Sandoval of Nevada and Vice Chair Steve Bullock of Montana joined Governor Charlie Baker of Massachusetts and Governor Kate Brown ...
NGA 2018 Winter Meeting

NGA 2018 Winter Meeting

Session videos from the National Governors Association Winter Meeting 2018 which took place February 24 & 25 in Washington DC View Full Playlist ...
2018 Winter Meeting — Plenary Session 3: The Opioid Crisis: What’s Working and Where Do We Go Next

2018 Winter Meeting — Plenary Session 3: The Opioid Crisis: What’s Working and Where Do We Go Next

The Opioid Crisis: What’s Working and Where Do We Go Next with: Governor Charlie Baker, Massachusetts, Chair, Health and Human Services CommitteeGovernor Kate Brown, Oregon, Vice Chair, Health and Human ...

NGA Announces New Projects To Combat Opioid Epidemic

WASHINGTON—The National Governors Association (NGA) today announced two new projects aimed at helping states combat the effects of the nationwide opioid epidemic. Twelve states have been selected to participate in ...

Governors’ Recommendations for Federal Action to End the Nation’s Opioid Crisis

Opioids continue to fuel the worst drug overdose epidemic in our nation’s history, claiming the lives of 115 individuals every day and devastating families and communities across the country. Governors ...

Governors Release Recommendations for Addressing Opioid Epidemic

WASHINGTON—The National Governors Association (NGA) today released recommendations to Congress and the Administration calling for action to bolster the federal response to the opioid crisis. “The opioid and heroin epidemic ...

State Reporting: NGA Compact To Fight Opioid Addiction

In July 2016, 46 of the nation’s governors signed A Compact to Fight Opioid Addiction, marking the first time in more than 10 years that governors developed a compact through ...

States Expand Opioid Addiction Treatment in Drug Courts, Corrections

The National Governors Association (NGA) today announced that eight states—Alaska, Indiana, Kansas, Minnesota, North Carolina, New Jersey, Virginia and Washington—will participate in a learning lab to develop and implement strategies to expand ...

Using Data and Evaluation in Policy Development, Implementation and Monitoring: Building Successful Policies to Reduce Prescription Opioid Misuse

Policy makers looking to reduce the abuse of prescription opioids face difficult decisions in selecting which of the many interventions will best fit their jurisdictions. Using Data and Evaluation in ...


  • 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.