Overdose Prevention

More than 70,000 people in the United States died from overdose in 2017, making it the leading cause of death for people under 50.

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Vital Strategies is working with U.S. states to catalyze data-driven solutions to reduce deaths from overdose.

Our Approach

More than 70,000 people in the United States died as a result of overdose in 2017, exceeding all other forms of accidental injury deaths in the nation. Millions more struggle with substance use, which has a multitude of collateral harms from medical to social to economic.

The current crisis is one wave in a longstanding public health challenge that has taken many forms–from morphine, to cocaine, to prescription products, and now to heroin and synthetic fentanyl. Each wave has been driven by policies, systems, stigma, and misconception.

We see decisive government action as a key to addressing the crisis. Funded by Bloomberg Philanthropies, Vital Strategies will partner with governments and affected communities to build tailored, science-backed solutions focused on significant and sustainable reductions in overdose deaths. Our work will include supporting the adoption and scaling of harm reduction strategies, as well as a range of health, legal and social interventions.

To support this initiative, Vital Strategies will provide technical assistance tailored to the on-the-ground situation in U.S. states. We will assist local partners in reforming policy, innovating programs and mobilizing communities at the neighborhood, municipal, county, and state levels. Other partners in the initiative include The Pew Charitable Trust, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.

70,000

Deaths from overdose in the United States in 2017

Vital Strategies is working with U.S. states to catalyze data-driven solutions to reduce deaths from overdose.

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