The ongoing opioid crisis is one of the largest public health issues facing the United States today. Driven in part by a shift towards more potent opioids such as heroin and illicitly produced fentanyl, fatal opioid-related overdoses doubled between 2010 and 2016. Although rates of prescription drug misuse have begun to fall, they remain significantly above pre-crisis rates, and increasing rates of illicit opioid use suggest that people may be substituting illicit drugs for prescription ones. How can we address these intertwined trends? How can we prevent opioid misuse, save lives, and ensure that people can get the prescriptions they need? And how do we ensure access to medication assisted treatment?
Carnevale Associates works to alleviate the opioid crisis through all three policy lenses: supply reduction, demand reduction, and harm reduction -- spanning treatment, prevention, and criminal justice. As part of the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration Center for the Application of Prevention Technologies, we specialize in transforming academic opioid research into practical knowledge for stakeholders at the federal, state, and local levels. Our team has supported the implementation of strategies including: prescriber education, prescription drug monitoring programs, and school-based prevention. We have developed training & technical assistance tools such as evidence-based reference guides, issue briefs, and webinars, spanning the full Strategic Prevention Framework, including understanding risk & protective factors; conducting community needs assessments, developing capacity, and establishing stakeholder relationships; and choosing, implementing, and evaluating strategies. We also put our work into practice, in one recent example helping the District of Columbia Department of Behavioral Health develop its State Targeted Response to the Opioid Crisis grant and working with the District to enhance opioid treatment capacity, including medication assisted treatment.