SAMHSA's Updated Overdose Prevention and Response Toolkit
On Feb 1, 2024 the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) marked two years of its Overdose Prevention Strategy (Strategy) by announcing bold new actions to combat overdoses. These actions include finalizing a rule that will dramatically expand access to life-saving medications for opioid use disorder, announcing that certain grant funds may now be used to purchase xylazine test strips (XTS), and releasing the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s (SAMHSA) updated Overdose Prevention and Response Toolkit. Actions announced build on President Biden’s National Drug Control Strategy and his Unity Agenda call-to-action to address the overdose epidemic and save lives.
SAMHSA’s updated Overdose Prevention and Response Toolkit provides guidance to a wide range of individuals on preventing and responding to an overdose. The toolkit also emphasizes that harm reduction and access to treatment are essential aspects of overdose prevention.
The toolkit, designed to augment overdose prevention and reversal training, provides guidance on the role of opioid overdose reversal medications, including naloxone and nalmefene, and how to respond to an overdose. It also contains appendices for specific audiences, including people who use drugs (PWUD), people who take prescription opioids, first responders, healthcare practitioners, and others.