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 Lead the Charge on Opioid Abuse, Education Reform, Zika Response

WASHINGTON—At the 2016 National Governors Association (NGA) Winter Meeting, led by Chair Utah Gov. Gary Herbert and Vice Chair Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe, more than 40 governors gathered to discuss critical issues of ...

Governors, Physicians Call For End To Nation’s Opioid Epidemic

Joint statement by National Governors Association (NGA) Health and Human Services Committee Chair Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker; Vice Chair New Hampshire Gov. Maggie Hassan; American Medical Association (AMA) Chair-Elect Patrice ...

Governors Make Recommendations To Address National Opioid Epidemic

WASHINGTON—To address the deadliest drug epidemic in U.S. history, the nation’s governors are calling on the federal government to take swift action. Governors’ Priorities for Addressing the Nation’s Opioid Crisis provide ...

State, Local Leaders Expand Efforts to Treat Opioid Overdoses

NGA, the National Association of Counties and other organizations today announced an agreement that will offer public agencies access to a reduced-price, potentially lifesaving opioid withdrawal nasal spray. The FDA-approved ...

Reducing Prescription Drug Abuse: Lessons Learned from an NGA Policy Academy

As part of the National Governors Association’s (NGA) ongoing effort to help states reduce prescription drug abuse, findings from the Prescription Drug Abuse Reduction Policy Academy were the focus of ...

Six Strategies for Reducing Prescription Drug Abuse

The abuse of prescription drugs is the fastest growing drug problem in the United States, and is the most common type of drug abuse after marijuana use among teens between ...


  • 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.