By: Captain Chideha Ohuoha, M.D., M.P.H., Director, SAMHSA Center for Substance Abuse Treatment
One hundred fifteen Americans die every day from opioid overdose. Whether a person deliberately misuses a prescription opioid
or uses an illicit drug such as heroin, these deaths are all preventable. It’s up to us—emergency medical personnel, healthcare professionals, and community members who witness and respond to overdoses—to learn what we can do to prevent opioid misuse.

Since 2017, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has issued more than $1 billion in grants to support access to opioid-related treatment, prevention and recovery. We have also published resources to support prevention and treatment providers.

As part of HHS’s prevention efforts, SAMHSA) has revised our Opioid Overdose Prevention Toolkit for 2018. This toolkit provides a comprehensive outline for individuals and community members to understand the scope of the opioid overdose problem in the United States and how to address it.  Topics covered in the toolkit include:

  • strategies for community members to prevent overdose deaths,
  • recommended steps for first responders to reduce the number of deaths resulting from opioid overdoses,
  • ways that healthcare providers can reduce opioid overdose through risk reduction,
  • treatment for individuals who have experienced an opioid overdose and
  • safety advice for patients and family members.

I encourage you to read the newly revised toolkit, and to help us share this resource and other materials to empower individuals and communities to save lives and to prevent more tragedies.

Additional Resources for Opioid Overdose Prevention and Treatment