program overview

about the ors program

The Overdose Response Strategy (ORS) is an unprecedented and unique public health-public safety partnership between the High Intensity Drug Trafficking Areas (HIDTA) program and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). At its core, it is an example of a cross-agency, interdisciplinary collaboration with a single mission of reducing overdose deaths and saving lives across the nation.


our mission

The mission of the ORS is to help communities reduce fatal and non-fatal drug overdoses by connecting public health and public safety agencies, sharing information and pertinent intelligence and supporting innovative and evidence-based strategies.

ors program goals


Sharing data systems to inform rapid and effective community overdose prevention efforts.


Supporting immediate, evidence-based response efforts that can directly reduce overdose deaths.


Designing and using promising strategies at the intersection of public health and public safety.


Disseminating information to support the implementation of evidence-informed overdose prevention strategies.


The ORS provides a menu of program strategies that enables ORS teams and jurisdictions across the United States to select and implement initiatives that best support their local communities. Click each goal below to review the strategies within our four overarching goals.

  • Formalizing/arranging data sharing partnerships
  • Data transfer between organizations or agencies
  • Opioid-related database management
  • Drug-related data collection, analysis, or dissemination (e.g., presentations, reports, publications)
  • ODMAP usage for strategic planning at the local level
  • Overdose Fatality Reviews (OFRs)
  • Public Health and Public Safety Teams Toolkit (PHAST)
  • Environmental scans or assessment and analysis
  • Targeted naloxone distribution
  • Increased access to medication-assisted treatment (MAT)
  • 911 Good Samaritan Law
  • Naloxone distribution in treatment centers and the criminal justice system
  • MAT in the criminal justice system and upon release
  • Initiation of buprenorphine-based MAT in Emergency Departments
  • Syringe services programs
  • Pre-arrest diversion programs
  • Safe station programs
  • Drug courts
  • Post-overdose outreach programs
  • Stigma reduction and/or compassion fatigue programs for first responders
  • Rapid response strategies (e.g., response protocols for OD cluster or pain clinic closure)
  • Support the development and dissemination of overdose prevention communications campaigns
  • Host or contribute to community events that support overdose prevention awareness
  • Develop and disseminate overdose prevention informational materials
  • Build capacity among partners to identify, select, and/or implement appropriate evidence-informed prevention strategies

...our staff members are working in the ORS network to establish early warning signs and prevention strategies to address the epidemic...

“We are in an overdose epidemic, and to help combat it we need both public health and public safety working together. By sharing data, insights and trends related to drug overdoses in communities, our staff members are working in the ORS network to establish early warning signs and prevention strategies to address the epidemic. The ORS program is helping communities develop local solutions to reduce overdoses and encouraging individuals to make healthier, safer choices.”

Dr. Judy Monroe, President and CEO, CDC Foundation

learn more about the ors program

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