Partnership and Collaboration

Partnering across sectors will support a successful and comprehensive public health response to the opioid epidemic. State and territorial health agencies should consider forming the following types of partnerships.

Monitoring and Surveillance

  • Partner with neighboring states to expand PDMP interstate data sharing to increase effective monitoring and completeness of PDMP reports and to establish data-sharing agreements for tracking of opioid use and overdoses across state agency jurisdictional lines.
  • Partner with neighboring states to establish data-sharing agreements for tracking of opioid use and overdoses across state agency jurisdictional lines.
  • Collaborate with entities responsible for reporting overdose data (e.g., coroner's office, medical examiner's office, emergency departments, EMS) to ensure up-to-date and useful opioid overdose surveillance.
  • Partner with public safety and drug control agencies (e.g., HIDTA) to improve data sharing , focus response and prevention strategies, and support drug enforcement operations.
  • Collaborate with PDMPs and their parent agencies (e.g., boards of pharmacy, licensure boards) to  better identify over-prescribers and to develop a coordinated and comprehensive response.

Training and Education

  • Work with local press and media outlets to amplify prevention messages and provide information on treatment and recovery resources to the public on a broad scale.

Primary and Overdose Prevention

  • Work with community partners to develop or expand community coalitions to ensure a comprehensive and coordinated approach to the opioid crisis.
  • Partner with community-based efforts to raise awareness of the dangers of opioid misuse, such as DEA 360 Strategy or Drug Free Community Coalitions.
  • Partner with elementary and middle schools to support school-based substance use prevention programs and update curricula on a regular basis.

Treatment, Recovery, and Harm Reduction

  • Partner with local and state employers, business, and Chambers of Commerce to make the business case for linking employees to treatment and recovery support service, provide needed education on opioid or substance use addiction, and provide information on treatment referral process.
  • Partner with health professional boards and pharmacies  in supporting state and national (e.g., CDC) prescribing guidelines.
  • Engage local medical schools, dental schools and other health professional schools in adopting core competencies in pain management and addiction medicine. 
  • Partner with correctional facilities to increase access to treatment and recovery services to prevent relapse and recidivism when individuals are released.
  • Work with Emergency Medical Services (EMS) to promote a mobile integrated healthcare and community paramedicine (MIH-CP) approach, which goes beyond overdose reversal and adopts a recovery-oriented system of care model.
  • Partner with behavioral health department, with healthcare and social service systems, and other stakeholders to obtain state, federal, or foundation funding for treatment and recovery services to scale up needed services.
  • Work with local goverments to ensure that land use statutes and ordinances do not impede construction of drug treatment facilities.
  • Work with public and private payers to review insurance practices to reduce barriers to opioid use disorder treatment (e.g., prior authorizations, "fail first" step therapy approaches) and provide the full spectrum of evidence-based care, including medication assisted treatment, psychosocial supports for such treatments, recovery support services, and other non-clinical services.
  • Work with public and private payers to fund comprehensive pain management programs and services, including non-opioid therapies for acute and chronic pain.