Category Archives: injury and violence prevention

Opioid Settlement Funds Must Go Where They’re Needed Most—Treatment and Prevention

By Dana Fields-Johnson, MPA, Program Manager and Sarah Mittermaier, Communications Coordinator, Prevention Institute 

As thousands of cities and counties hard-hit by the opioid crisis move closer to settlements with opioid manufacturers and distributors, it’s time to talk about how communities can use these funds to meet urgent needs for treatment and invest in what it will truly take to stop this epidemic: preventing people from becoming addicted to opioids in the first place.

As we face up to the magnitude of the opioid crisis—estimated to have cost the U.S. over $1 trillion from 2001 to 2017, with a human toll that can’t be calculated—we need to learn from what has and hasn’t worked in past public health settlements and set more stringent parameters around how opioid settlement funds will be used. Continue reading

NACCHO Book Club: Dreamland—The True Tale of America’s Opioid Epidemic

By Emily Yox, MPH, Global Health Program Analyst, NACCHO

Each month, NACCHO will bring you a new public health book, read and reviewed by NACCHO staff. We hope to provide a well-rounded reading list that you will find enjoyable as well as informative.

Our first recommendation, Dreamland: The True Tale of America’s Opioid Epidemic, by Sam Quinones, was published in 2015 and received many accolades for the way in which the author intertwines the multiple narratives that fit into the U.S. opioid overdose epidemic. He tells stories of epidemiologists, big pharma, entrepreneurial drug dealers, and people in recovery to showcase the different perspectives of the addiction crisis in the United States. It is clear that the book was painstakingly researched but is very well written and hard to put down. Continue reading

On the Front Lines of the Opioid Epidemic

By Kevin G. Sumner, MPH, NACCHO President and Health Officer and Director of the Middle-Brook Regional Health Commission in Green Brook, New Jersey

The opioid epidemic has claimed thousands of lives and engulfed entire communities, yet often feels too monumental to be seen as anything other than relentless and unending. But with as many harrowing stories that we have read and heard in regards to this profound public health crisis, there are also glimpses of hope: what’s working, the moderately sized successes that might work on a larger scale, and what adequately funded interventions look like. Continue reading

On the Front Lines of an Epidemic: Public Health Workforce Initiative Jumpstarts an Opioids Response Project

By Laura H. Franzke, PhD, MPH Population Health Workforce Branch, Division of Scientific Education and Professional Development, CSELS Centers for Disease Control and Prevention & Judith C. Shlay, MD, MSPH, Associate Director, Denver Public Health

If war is ultimately about people, then the opioid epidemic is indeed a war. In the confused geography of war, there are battles lost, skirmishes won, stalemates, and retrenchments. The opioid epidemic has claimed thousands of lives and engulfed entire communities, yet often feels too monumental to be seen as anything other than relentless and unending. The continuous unfolding story of a crisis and the response, however, must also include some promise of hope: what’s working, what may work if we scale it up, and what adequately funded interventions look like. Continue reading

Community Leaders Connect in ACEs and Resilience Community of Practice

By Marilyn Gisser, Washington State Department of Health

It takes a tireless dedication to help your community thrive and to assist those who struggle with health or social challenges. Often the work occurs in isolation and with limited feedback. Washington State received an overwhelming response when it offered to bring together individuals from across the state to talk, reflect, increase their knowledge, build relationships, and problem-solve about child abuse and neglect prevention strategies. Continue reading

Honoring Essential Agents of Change: A Partnership Strategy

By Deborah Mutschler, Massachusetts Essentials for Childhood 

Massachusetts Essentials for Childhood (MA EfC) promotes a variety of opportunities communities can employ to promote safe, stable, nurturing relationships and environments to prevent child abuse and neglect. To highlight an expansive view of partnership, MA EfC created the Essential Agent of Change Awards, which honors community groups with missions that don’t directly address child abuse and neglect prevention, but still strengthen protective factors in families and communities that support safe, stable, nurturing relationships and environments for all children and families. Continue reading

Colorado’s Family Friendly Workplace Approach

By Tomei Kuehl, Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment

Colorado is one of five Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Essentials for Childhood recipients and chose to focus on employer engagement as one a strategy to address child abuse and neglect prevention and promote safe, stable, nurturing relationships and environments for all children. The Colorado Essentials for Childhood project leveraged partnerships and resources to develop the Family-Friendly Workplace Toolkit, which provides employers with evidence-informed practices and policies that enhance employee health and well-being. Continue reading