Application for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Overdose Data to Action State (OD2A-S) grant will allow the Alabama (AL) Department of Public Health (ADPH) to continue and expand statewide efforts to combat the ongoing, nationwide opioid and stimulant crisis initiated with the current CDC funding Overdose Data to Action grant. AL continues to experience a higher drug overdose death rate as compared to the United States as the overdose epidemic continues to evolve. The landscape of the drug overdoses in AL shifted to involve illicitly manufactured fentanyl and fentanyl analogs and polysubstance deaths involving both opioids and stimulants. This funding would allow ADPH to collaborate closely with diverse multi-sector and multi-level surveillance and prevention partners to address this shift in landscape with opioid and stimulant related harms, use and misuse, fatal and non-fatal overdoses, and social determinants of health and health equity.
ADPH intends to improve surveillance and data reporting to engage in an ongoing analysis and dissemination of timely data on drug overdoses, emerging threats, and associated risk factors to key partners implementing prevention activities. Surveillance strategies (1-3) will build and sustain an internal, statewide overdose dashboard, develop protocols and practices for detecting overdose outbreaks, rapidly report and submit emergency department data, and improve the collection and dissemination of AL’s death data for surveillance of overdose. Prevention strategies (6-9) will use data-driven evidence, program data, and evaluation data to drive opportunities to intervene and reduce health disparities and overdoses. Efforts will focus on enhancing clinician and health system engagement and capacity to ensure they are adequately equipped to contribute to prevention solutions, expand PDMP through interstate data sharing agreements and incorporate PDMP into electronic health records and pharmacy management systems, increase public health and public safety partnerships through increased information tracking and sharing and link at-risk incarcerated individuals to appropriate care and resources prior to release, implement and support evidence-based interventions while partnering with harm reduction organizations and peer support groups, reduce stigma toward people who use drugs, provide harm reduction services and peer support to those groups who are disproportionally affected by overdose and/or underserved, and initiating community-based linkage to care.
By meeting these grant strategies, ADPHs’ goals are to: (1) increase timely, comprehensive, and actionable data, including toxicology testing for both fatal and non-fatal overdoses; (2) increase utilization of data to inform and tailor prevention strategies, with emphasis on reaching groups disproportionately affected by the drug overdose in AL; (3) decrease stigma related to substance use and overdose; (4) decrease health disparities related to access to and receipt of care, especially among persons who use drugs and those previously underserved by overdose prevention programs and healthcare systems; and (5) decrease overall fatal and nonfatal overdose deaths related to opioid and stimulant use.