Using a collective impact approach for surveillance of drug overdoses to inform targeted drug-related prevention, treatment, policy-making, and harm reduction strategies is a core focus of work at the AMA.

The AMA is working to advance a public health approach to surveillance that can inform targeted drug-related prevention, treatment, and policy-making, as well as harm reduction strategies.

The AMA urges additional policy changes to accurately track overdose and mortality trends to provide equitable public health interventions that include comprehensive, disaggregated, racial and ethnic data collection related to testing, hospitalization, and mortality associated with opioids and other substances.

Shift from Response to Prevention

Collective Impact of Stakeholders

Each stakeholder plays an important role in the fight to end the drug overdose epidemic, but when stakeholders collaborate, the impact is far greater. This is true for preventative and treatment measures, policies surrounding overdoses, and surveillance efforts.


Total dispensed prescriptions for naloxone in retail pharmacies (2012-2021)

From 2016 to 2021, naloxone prescriptions dispensed from pharmacies increased from almost 134,000 to nearly 1.2 million prescriptions.

AMA prescription drug monitoring program national survey

Physicians and other authorized users queried state prescription drug monitoring programs (PDMPs) more than 910,000,000 times in 2020; more than double compared to 2018.

Organized Medicine’s Role in Strengthening a Public Health Approach to Overdose Morbidity and Mortality

AMA President, Susan R. Bailey, MD and the AMA Director of Science and Drug Policy, Amy B. Cadwallader, PhD presented a session at the 2021 Rx Drug Abuse & Heroin Summit that highlighted the reasons why data standardization and public health interventions have been elusive and they provide actionable solutions for states, organizations, and policymakers to meaningfully address the nation’s overdose epidemic.

Reports of efforts to help the nation’s overdose epidemic

Updated December 22, 2022 This issue brief is focused on positive interventions from nearly every state working to help increase access to evidence-based treatment for substance use disorders, patients with pain and harm reduction efforts. The reports include news releases, data from multiple and varied sources, including national, state and local public health agencies, advocacy organizations, law enforcement, emergency medical services, hospitals, treatment centers, research journals and others.  

America’s drug overdose epidemic: Select 2020-2022 research

Updated December 22, 2022 This issue brief is focused on providing a representative sample of the research published in the past two years focused on substance use disorders, pain and harm reduction. It includes research from medical and scientific journals as well as advocacy organizations. Some of the materials require a subscription while most are publicly available.

Reportable and Notifiable Conditions

Surveillance and Sharing of Overdose Data Summit Reading Material

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