The Overdose Initiative

Join the Overdose Initiative

The Overdose Initiative is a comprehensive program that can be implemented by communities to combat the overdose crisis in their region. The three components of the Overdose Initiative include coalition building with key community leaders, analysis of local data, and implementing new solutions.

Starting the Overdose Initiative with Key Leaders

There are community pillars whose participation is essential to the success of the Overdose Initiative. As the initiative forms it is important to include stakeholders from leadership positions in key area organizations:

  • Law Enforcement
  • Mayors and Elected Officials
  • Hospital Administrators
  • Faith Leaders
  • Business Leaders

Building a Coalition

The next step in the process is to build a broad coalition of stakeholders in the community. These stakeholders should be made up of business, faith, philanthropic, frontline leaders, and courageous elected officials. Communities will also establish a key supporting organization for the initiative which includes the staff and infrastructure to complete the data and implementation phase. In many communities the supporting organization is housed under the Chamber of Commerce or other key community associations. It is important that this supporting organization be appropriately funded to oversee the completion for all components of the implementation phase.

Data, Strategy, and the Community Needs Assessment

Data is the basis for all strategic decisions in the Overdose Initiative; the findings inform the development of strategy and guide the implementation phase through completion. Communities receive measurement metrics to evaluate the needs of their geographic area. This measurement tool will include data elements such as fatal and nonfatal overdoses, demographic information for overdoses, availability of MAT, and availability of Narcan. Each community obtains the relevant data to track and evaluate key metrics. The results of the data measurement provide the basis for strategic solutions development.

Implementation of Intervention and Prevention: Engaging the New Frontline

Empowering and engaging business and faith leaders to help reach individuals in their respective communities is a key element of the implementation phase. Communicating with individuals affected by the crisis in an effort to reduce the stigma associated with addiction and mental health challenges is the starting point for productive dialogue. Business and faith leaders have the opportunity to serve by meeting individuals with helpful resources where they work and where they worship. This new frontline of care centers around providing strategic materials, data, and information on trends to CEO’s, Human Resources leaders, and pastors. Leaders become empowered to guide conversations with their employees, stakeholders, and congregations.

The Overdose Initiative in Action

Our Communities in Action

Ensuring that communities have the proper resources and that people can access them when needed is an important step in providing consistent care. This includes MAT/MOUD, harm reduction resources such as Narcan, availability of beds in care facilities, physicians, and access to care.

Advocacy for America's Youth

Aimed to create awareness for those at highest risk in the community through social, traditional, and digital media. The primary focus is reaching Millennial and Gen Z populations about the new danger of overdose and fentanyl and lead them to the new system of care.

Outreach to the Most Vulnerable Populations

Data will be utilized to identify key frontline outreach workers in each community. This grassroots effort will include those serving in areas with high rates of overdoses and minority communities disproportionately affected by the crisis, ensuring access to life-saving treatment options.