CDC Proposes Funding Opportunities to Prevent Drug Overdose

The CDC proposed two new Notices of Funding Opportunities (NOFOs) on March 8 under its Overdose Data to Action (OD2A) program to allow the health industry and community to guide with overdose deaths.

Drug overdose and deaths have worsened in the United States, especially after the COVID-19 pandemic. In just 2021, more than 106,000 drug overdose deaths were reported, per the National Institutes of Health (NIH). As a result, the CDC has proposed new funding opportunities to address the concerning overdose issues.

The first NOFO was outlined for states and the other for locals and territories. These NOFOs are expected to grow and reinforce the nation's current overdose complications and prevent further deaths by implementing attempts to target utilizing primary data to prevent and address health equity.

"Nearly 300 people are dying every day from drug overdoses. We must ensure broad resources and support are in place at all levels of government to save lives today and in the future," says the Director of CDC’s National Center for Injury Prevention and Control, Christopher M. Jones, PharmD, DrPH, M.P.H. (CAPT U.S. Public Health Service).

"This funding is critical to support innovation, expand harm reduction strategies and link people to life-saving care, and make the latest data available so that we can get ahead of the constantly evolving epidemic, including changes in the illicit drug supply that make today’s crisis more deadly than ever."

The new NOFOs will strengthen the HHS Overdose Prevention Strategy and center around the execution of evidence-based methods to handle the recent drug overdose crisis, including preventing illegal drug supply, such as illicit fentanyl and synthetic opioids, and increased use in stimulants and polysubstance usage.

The new program will intensify the health departments to follow fatal and non-fatal drug overdoses and recognize drug threats. The funded programs will utilize the data to continue enhancing prevention programs and improve education on preventing drug overdoses and deaths in certain groups of individuals, especially groups impacted most by the epidemic.

"CDC remains committed to addressing health disparities and inequities in overdose," says the Director of CDC’s Division of Overdose Prevention, Grant Baldwin, Ph.D., M.P.H.

"These funding opportunities focus on people disproportionately affected by overdose and underserved by treatment and harm reduction services – including some racial/ethnic groups, people experiencing incarceration or recent release from incarceration, and people experiencing homelessness."

Currently, the CDC funds 47 U.S. states and Washington, D.C., two territories, and 16 large city and county health departments through the program. The CDC will continue to build this crucial program in 2023, controlling the newest epidemiology, prevention research, and data collected from the previous OD2A cycle.

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