The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued two new Notices of Funding Opportunities (NOFOs) on March 8 as part of its Overdose Data to Action (OD2A) program to assist the health industry and community in addressing overdose mortality.
In the United States, drug overdoses and deaths have increased, notably since the COVID-19 outbreak. According to the National Institutes of Health, in 2021 alone, over 106,000 drug overdose deaths were recorded (NIH). In response, the CDC has recommended new funding options to address the problematic overdose problems.
The first NOFO was created for states, while the second was created for localities and territories. It is anticipated that these NOFOs will increase and strengthen the nation’s present overdose complications and prevent additional deaths by implementing efforts to focus using primary data to prevent and address health inequalities.
“Every day, about 300 individuals die from drug overdoses. To save lives now and in the future, we must guarantee that all levels of government have ample resources and support. “Christopher M. Jones, PharmD, DrPH, MPH, Director of the CDC’s National Center for Injury Prevention and Control, affirms this (CAPT U.S. Public Health Service).
This funding is essential to support innovation, expand harm reduction strategies, connect people to life-saving care, and make available the most recent data so that we can stay ahead of the epidemic’s constant evolution, which includes changes in the illicit drug supply that make the current crisis more lethal than ever.
The new NOFOs will strengthen the HHS Overdose Prevention Strategy and focus on the implementation of evidence-based methods to address the recent drug overdose crisis, including the prevention of illegal drug supply, such as illicit fentanyl and synthetic opioids, as well as increased stimulant and polysubstance use.
The new approach will increase the health departments’ monitoring of fatal and nonfatal drug overdoses and their ability to identify drug dangers. The sponsored programs will use the data to continue developing preventive initiatives and enhance education on reducing drug overdoses and deaths among specific categories of individuals, particularly those most affected by the crisis.
“CDC remains committed to tackling health inequalities and inequities in overdose,” says Grant Baldwin, Ph.D., M.P.H., director of the CDC’s Division of Overdose Prevention. These funding options target populations disproportionately affected by overdose and underrepresented by treatment and harm reduction services, such as certain racial/ethnic groups, those suffering incarceration or recent release from incarceration, and those facing homelessness.
Presently, the program is funded by the CDC in 47 states, D.C., two territories, and 16 significant municipal and county health departments. In 2023, the CDC will continue to develop this vital program by managing the most recent epidemiology, preventative research, and data gathered from the last OD2A cycle.