CDC Provides New Funds to Battle the Opioid Overdose Epidemic (Videos)

Enhancing state, territorial, tribal, and non-governmental capacity to prevent opioid overdoses
Enhancing state, territorial, tribal, and non-governmental capacity to prevent opioid overdoses

To address the ongoing opioid overdose epidemic, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is increasing support to states, territories, tribes, and non-governmental organizations working to prevent opioid-related overdoses, deaths, and other outcomes.

(Overdose Awareness: What You Need to Know about Drug Overdose. Courtesy of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and YouTube. Posted on Aug 30, 2018.)

The CDC has awarded $155 million in new funding to states and four U.S. territories to advance the understanding of the opioid overdose epidemic and to scale-up prevention and response activities, including improving the timeliness and quality of surveillance data.

Robert R. Redfield, CDC Director
Robert R. Redfield, CDC Director

“This epidemic is the public health crisis of our time – and we are losing far too many Americans each day from opioid overdoses,” said CDC Director Robert R. Redfield, M.D.

“These funds will provide critically needed resources to those on the frontlines of the fight against the opioid overdose epidemic.”

The CDC is also distributing an additional $27 million to nine non-governmental organizations.

Funded entities will support states and territories with staffing, procurement, and training to enhance local public health capacity.

Furthermore, the CDC has also allotted $12 million in funds to support 11 Tribal Epidemiology Centers and 15 tribal entities.

The rate of drug overdose deaths among American Indians and Alaska Natives (AI/AN) is above the national average and recent data show this trend continuing.

(Native Americans, American Indian tribal leaders and the CDC continue to work on interventions to successfully combat opioid abuse amid high overdose deaths in tribal territories. Courtesy of Wochit News and YouTube. Posted on Sep 21, 2016.)

These supplemental funds are intended to improve opioid overdose surveillance so that prevention strategies can be targeted to better address this threat to tribal communities.

Debra Houry, M.D., director, CDC’s National Center for Injury Prevention and Control
Debra Houry, M.D., director, CDC’s National Center for Injury Prevention and Control

“CDC’s role in this fight is to move data into action to prevent opioid overdoses. CDC is committed to equipping states, territories, tribal communities, and non-governmental organizations with resources to reverse the opioid overdose epidemic,” said Debra Houry, M.D., director, CDC’s National Center for Injury Prevention and Control.

HHS, CDC strategy to fight opioid overdoses

This expanded funding is part of the Department of Health and Human Services’ five-point strategy to fight the opioid overdose epidemic.

CDC’s goal is to prevent opioid-related events and overdose by:

  • Using data to monitor emerging trends and direct prevention activities
  • Strengthening state, local, and tribal capacity to respond to the epidemic
  • Working with providers, health systems, and payers to reduce unsafe exposure to opioids and treat addiction
  • Coordinating with public safety and community-based partners to rapidly identify overdose threats, reverse overdoses, link people to effective treatment, and reduce harms associated with illicit opioids
  • Increasing public awareness about the risks of opioids.

CDC has developed and released a new resource for primary care providers, medical practices, and healthcare systems.

Quality Improvement and Care Coordination: Implementing the CDC Guideline for Prescribing Opioids for Chronic Pain provides a framework for managing patients prescribed opioids for chronic pain.

The resource is available online along with a supplementary resource toolkit, fact sheets, and webinars.

The CDC received the funds in an increase in appropriations under the Fiscal Year 2018 Consolidated Appropriation Act and Accompanying Report to address the opioid overdose epidemic and scale up prevention activities across the United States.

CDC will use the Cooperative Agreement for Emergency Response: Public Health Crisis Response (Crisis NOFO) – CDC-RFA-TP18-1802 mechanism to award a portion of those funds to those affected by the opioid overdose epidemic.

Eligible Applicants: 

CDC Office of Management and Budget (OMB) determined that of the jurisdictions that previously applied for the Public Health Crisis NOFO, 50 states, eight territories, Washington, D.C. and American Indian or Alaska Native Federally recognized tribal governments or their bona fide agents (that meet requirements listed in Section C.3 of the NOFO for Justification for Less than Maximum Competition and that serve, through their own PH infrastructure, at least 50,000 people (N~5)) are eligible for the opioid overdose epidemic funding.

Approval/Funding Date: September 2018 (tentative)

Funding Availability: Ends August 31, 2019


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CDC will use the Research Electronic Data Capture (REDCap) system to manage the public health crisis cooperative agreement, workflow, and reporting for this project.

Project plans and activities available to jurisdictions will be detailed in the system.

For more information about the Crisis NOFO, please email

To learn more about opioid overdose prevention funding efforts, please visit: and

To learn more about opioid overdose, please visit


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