In many communities, law enforcement overdose response programs helped create a united front in the fight against overdose and other drug-related issues. Law enforcement officers already play a leadership role in cross-agency collaboration and information-sharing in the domain of drug abuse. Law enforcement officers also frequently come into contact with hard-to-reach populations most at risk of opioid overdose. Multi-agency public education campaigns often receive heightened media coverage and result in improved awareness about opioid overdose and its prevention. Local and regional opioid overdose taskforces can collaborate with criminal justice, public health, judicial, and other resources in creating a comprehensive response to this ongoing crisis.

Many communities across the country have come together to develop strategic plans to address opioid abuse, including the City of Baltimore, the State of New Jersey, the State of Pennsylvania, and the State of Wisconsin. Samples of these plans can be found on the Prescription Drug Monitoring Program Training and Technical Assistance Center web site

Resources:

Baltimore Mayor’s Heroin Treatment & Prevention Task Force Report

Date: 
Jul, 2015
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Addressing heroin addiction is a critical priority of Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake, City of Baltimore, who convened the Heroin Treatment and Prevention Task Force to come up with urgent and actionable strategies. This report outlines the recommendations and the work that must continue in order to address this life-and-death issue.

Confronting New Jersey’s New Drug Problem: A Strategic Action Plan to Address A Burgeoning Heroin/Opiate Epidemic Among Adolescents and Young Adults

Date: 
Jan, 2014
Resource Type: 

The skyrocketing use of heroin and other opiates has become the number one health care crisis confronting New Jersey. Recognizing the need for a comprehensive and multidisciplinary plan of action to address the prescription drug and heroin epidemic, on March 20, 2012, the Governor’s Council on Alcoholism and Drug Abuse established a Task Force on Heroin and Other Opiate Use by New Jersey’s Youth and Young Adults. The Task Force was charged to present a report with actionable recommendations that would help to stem the tide of this horrific scourge.

Letter to Pennsylvania District Attorneys, Police Chiefs, and County Sheriffs

Date: 
Jan, 2015
Resource Type: 

A letter to Pennsylvania’s district attorneys, police chiefs, and county sheriffs from state and community officials, encouraging these groups to collaborate and establish naloxone programs to save saves in the State of Pennsylvania. The letter shares information on state laws, including the Good Samaritan law, and provides resources for more information and funding opportunities.

Project Dawn (Deaths Avoided With Naloxone) Training Video – Part 1

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Project DAWN (Deaths Avoided With Naloxone) is a community-based overdose education and naloxone distribution program. This video is a Project DAWN training video on overdose prevention, including recognizing the signs and symptoms of overdose, distinguishing between different types of overdose, performing rescue breathing, calling emergency medical services, and administering intranasal Naloxone.

Project Dawn (Deaths Avoided With Naloxone) Training Video – Part 2

Resource Type: 

Project DAWN (Deaths Avoided With Naloxone) is a community-based overdose education and naloxone distribution program. This video is a Project DAWN training video on overdose prevention, including recognizing the signs and symptoms of overdose, distinguishing between different types of overdose, performing rescue breathing, calling emergency medical services, and administering intranasal Naloxone.

Wisconsin’s Heroin Epidemic: Strategies and Solutions

Date: 
Jul, 2014
Resource Type: 

In recognition of the growing heroin problem, the Wisconsin State Council on Alcohol and Other Drug Abuse (SCAODA) established the Heroin Ad-hoc Committee in November 2013. The Ad-hoc Committee was charged with researching and discussing the incidence of heroin use and overdoses in Wisconsin. The Ad-hoc Committee researched and discussed programs that could be used to prevent the use of heroin, the legal and social consequences of heroin use and substance use disorders (SUDs), harm reduction strategies and treatment options to create safer and healthier communities.

See the Community Outreach Letter below for one example of you can highlight partnerships in your community.

Resources:

Quincy (MA) Community Outreach Letter

Contributor: 
Resource Type: 

Sample community letter discussing a partnership between the Quincy Police Department and other community partners.

Yes, in January 2017, BJA released two funding opportunities as part of the Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act (CARA), which is the first major federal substance abuse disorder treatment and recovery legislation in 40 years. The Comprehensive Opioid Abuse Program (COAP) Training and Technical Assistance (TTA) Program and the Comprehensive Opioid Abuse Site-Based Program support CARA’s goals to address the opioid epidemic by encouraging comprehensive, cross-system, data-driven, and evidence-based planning and collaboration among stakeholders from the criminal justice field and substance abuse treatment and recovery system. Under the Comprehensive Opioid Abuse Site-Based Program there is support for overdose outreach projects, which can connect overdose survivors with treatment and recovery services, including naloxone, and educate communities on overdose prevention. The deadline for both of these solicitations is April 25, 2017. 

Additional funding is available through the Harold Rogers Prescription Drug Monitoring Program (PDMP).

Resources:

Comprehensive Opioid Abuse Program (COAP) Training and Technical Assistance (TTA) Program FY 2017 Competitive Grant Announcement

Date: 
Feb, 2017
Resource Type: 

BJA is seeking applications to plan and implement comprehensive strategies in response to the growing opioid epidemic. This program furthers the Department’s mission by providing resources to state, local, and tribal governments to intervene with persons with substance-use disorders. 

Comprehensive Opioid Abuse Site-based Program FY 2017 Competitive Grant Announcement

Date: 
Feb, 2017
Resource Type: 

BJA is seeking applications to plan and implement comprehensive strategies in response to the growing opioid epidemic. This program furthers the Department’s mission by providing resources to state, local, and tribal governments to intervene with persons with substance-use disorders.

Harold Rogers Prescription Drug Monitoring Program FY 2016 Competitive Grant Announcement

Date: 
Apr, 2016
Resource Type: 

Fiscal year 2016 Harold Rogers Prescription Drug Monitoring Program solicitation.

Each state and territory offers information and support regarding substance use disorders through a state substance abuse agency. The role of a state substance abuse agency is to plan, carry out, and evaluate substance use disorder prevention, treatment, and recovery services provided to individuals and families. Specifically, they oversee treatment centers and counselors in their respective states and, in many cases, supply funding to providers, track state trends, and ensure residents receive the services to which they are entitled.

Resources:

NASADAD Membership List

Date: 
Aug, 2014
Contributor: 
Resource Type: 

Law enforcement agencies interested in contacting their state’s substance abuse agency can find contact information in this list. Your state’s substance abuse agency may be able to help you identify the programs and resources that are available in your local area and how these programs can be accessed.

Examples of promising programs include:

Programs to encourage opioid overdose witnesses to seek help:

Many opioid overdoses are witnessed, but bystanders do not call 9-1-1 because they do not recognize the signs and symptoms of an overdose, or because they are concerned about legal repercussions.

To remove barriers for witnesses of opioid overdoses to call 9-1-1, a growing number of states have passed overdose Good Samaritan laws. These laws shield those who seek help and witnesses from certain criminal charges for drug or alcohol possession. Even in the absence of Good Samaritan laws, arrests at the scene of an overdose are rare in most jurisdictions. Law enforcement agencies are in a unique position to make the public aware of these life-saving policies. However, failure to follow stated policies about arrest or prosecution can detrimentally impact the willingness of drug users, their families, and others to seek help in an emergency.

Example: In Washington State, research suggested that the vast majority of drug users were not aware of the new Good Samaritan law a year after its passage. The State Attorney General was featured in a press conference when the law took effect and he and the medical director of the Poison Control Center appeared in a radio public service announcement to share information about the law. The launch of the video was accompanied by a wide-ranging media campaign to educate the public about the provisions and benefits of the Good Samaritan law. The Seattle Police Department also created a video to be shown at roll call to all patrol officers that featured the narcotics captain, a county prosecutor and the medical director of public health. The video addressed what the law does and does not cover, the basics of what naloxone is, and the fact that public health programs would be distributing naloxone. To address their concerns, community members receiving naloxone were informed that police have received education about the Good Samaritan law and naloxone distribution efforts.

Resources:

Seattle Police Department Training Video

Date: 
Apr, 2012
Resource Type: 

Seattle Police Department training video about Washington’s 911 Good Samaritan Law and naloxone.

Veterans, residents of rural and tribal areas, recently-released inmates, people completing drug treatment/detox programs, and some young adults are at an especially high risk of opioid overdose. Law enforcement and correctional officers are uniquely positioned to engage in initiatives targeting these high-risk groups, thereby helping prevent fatalities by engaging in outreach initiatives. Individuals re-entering society after a period of incarceration are especially vulnerable. In the first two weeks, formerly incarcerated individuals are approximately 30 times more likely to die of a drug overdose than members of the general public. A number of programs engage law enforcement and correctional staff in educating this population about overdose risk, how to avoid and respond to overdose, and any provisions covering criminal liability of those who seek help.

Example: In Rhode Island’s “Staying Alive on the Outside” program, state prisoners are shown a video about overdose risks as part of the pre-release process. Another example is a program at the Allegheny County, PA, jail, where public health and corrections officials present overdose prevention trainings to inmates prior to discharge. At the jail in Kent, Washington pharmacists train inmates and naloxone is placed in their possession for pick up upon release.

Example: In Indiana, local law enforcement worked in partnership with the Drug Enforcement Administration to revise the drug education curriculum delivered in schools to include key information about overdoses. This includes content covering signs and symptoms of overdose, the substances that are likely to cause overdose, and the considerations involved in calling 9-1-1.

Some law enforcement agencies found it helpful to develop pocket cards or brochures that can be easily distributed. Sample pocket cards and brochures are included in the resources below.

Resources:

Narcan Pocket Card

Resource Type: 

A sample Narcan pocket card.

New York City Overdose Palm Card

Resource Type: 

A sample overdose palm card from New York City.

New York City Overdose Palm Card: Spanish Version

Date: 
Sep, 2014
Resource Type: 

A sample overdose palm card in Spanish from New York City.

Vermont Overdose Rescue Kit Brochure

Date: 
Feb, 2014
Resource Type: 

Sample overdose rescue kit brochure from Vermont.

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) Opioid Overdose Prevention Toolkit (2016) provides communities and local governments with material to develop practices and policies to help prevent opioid-related overdoses and deaths. 

Resources:

SAMHSA Opioid Overdose Prevention Toolkit

Date: 
Jan, 2016
Contributor: 
Resource Type: 

This toolkit equips health care providers, communities, and local governments with material to develop practices and policies to help prevent opioid-related overdoses and deaths. It addresses issues for health care providers, first responders, treatment providers, and those recovering from opioid overdose.