The Jefferson County Board of Health, dba the Jefferson County Department of Health (JCDH) proposes to implement the Limiting Overdose in Jefferson County, Alabama by Improving Access to Overdose Data, Reducing Health Disparities and Increasing Cross-Sector Collaboration project.
JCDH serves Jefferson County, Alabama with an estimated population of 669,997 for the period ending July 1, 2021. According to the CDC WONDER database, JCDH ended 2021 with 347 overdose deaths. According to data available from the Jefferson County Coroner/Medical Examiner’s Office, overdose deaths have increased by 90% from 2019 to 2022 with fentanyl-related overdose deaths rising by 274% in the same time period. While our population is 52.6% white, 43.8% black and 4.3% Hispanic or Latino, there is a disproportionate increase in overdose deaths in groups previously underserved by overdose prevention programs. Overdose deaths increased by 195% in individuals identifying as black or African American from 2019 to 2021, while only increasing by 27.6% in whites during the same time period.
JCDH seeks to reduce morbidity and mortality from drug overdose by implementation of this project complemented by other overdose prevention and response projects. We propose to develop a JCDH harm reduction mobile app, increasing access to our existing online naloxone and fentanyl test strip training and mail order program and increasing ease of reporting naloxone and fentanyl test strip utilization. We will develop a public overdose dashboard. We will increase participation in our monthly OD2A Task Force meeting launched in the fall of 2020 to improve cross-sector collaboration. We will increase access to navigation services, transportation services, language services and partner with community organizations to increase naloxone distribution and overdose education. We will increase health professionals' awareness of the evidence-based pain and substance use training and free continuing education available through the recently launched OD2A-funded ALAHOPE curriculum (www.alahope.org). We will develop a culturally competent media campaign to increase awareness of all of these resources, deployed via geolocation of target populations or areas with high risk of overdose based on surveillance data. Lastly, we will partner with an external evaluator to assess the effectiveness and opportunities for our OD2A: LOCAL project.