Data Driven Prevention Initiative
The Alabama Department of Public Health (ADPH) received three year funding from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Data-Driven Prevention Initiative (DDPI) on Opioid and Heroin Abuse and Overdose to address this crisis within Alabama. ADPH leveraged existing partnerships among healthcare, public safety, education, treatment, and federal, state, and local governments to facilitate the development of a statewide opioid and heroin misuse prevention plan.
Development of the Strategic Map
Interested stakeholders were identified and met to begin the process of developing an opioid prevention strategic map. Their ideas were taken by the Advisory Committee and a strategic map was built. The map is composed of seven objectives: Improve Surveillance of Abuse and Overdose; Enhance Analysis and Use of Data; Strengthen Prevention and Education Infrastructure; Expand Treatment and Recovery; Reduce the Stigma Associated with Addiction; and Rescue- Naloxone Training and Distribution. Twenty-one activity actions were identified to achieve these objectives, and six were given priority for the next year’s work.
Collaborations Developed Through Education
Funding from the DDPI grant was used to host an opioid summit each year. The goal of the first year’s summit, Opioid Crisis in Alabama: From Silos to Solutions, was to educate healthcare professionals, law enforcement, community leaders, state agencies, and state legislators about the opioid crisis in Alabama. This provided the foundation of collaborations that continue to actively work together to reduce the number of opioid overdose deaths in Alabama. The second summit’s theme was best practices. Local community efforts were highlighted with the goal of community leaders replicating these projects in their communities. The Summit in Year 3 was titled, Where We Were, Where We Are, Where We Are Going. The presenters spoke of progress made and on-going efforts.
In addition to the summits, educational conferences held throughout the state each year brought people from all disciplines together to learn about the opioid problem in Alabama and the tools available to help reduce overdoses and deaths. Over 1000 people attended these conferences.
Key strategies in the DDPI funding opportunity included developing partnerships, developing an opioid abuse prevention plan, enhancing surveillance of opioid overdose, and enhancing public health access and application of data. While the activities within these strategies are on-going, much has been done in the past 3 years. There is an increase throughout the state in partnerships and collaborations to educate all those involved with and affected by the opioid crisis. State agencies have consulted with each other to ensure media campaigns are appropriate for the targeted audience and provide information that is needed by the public. A particular focus has been the distribution of the Alabama Department of Mental Health 24/7 Help Line number that is manned by a peer counselor and provides immediate help to those seeking information or treatment. Funding has been secured for a data repository that will collect data from state agencies that can be used to assess the status of the opioid crisis. ADPH continues to evaluate data sources within its organization and how the data can be accessed and made available.
The DDPI grant funding opportunity also provided for improvements and enhancements of the Alabama Prescription Drug Monitoring Program (PDMP). In 2017, the PDMP changed to the NarxCare platform that provides prescribers and pharmacists more information to help in the clinical decisions. Alabama is data sharing over two hubs, InterConnect and RX Check, with more than 50 per cent of the States and one territory. Electronic medical record integration has been implemented and is available to practitioner practices, hospitals, and pharmacies.
ADPH continues to work with other state agencies and partners to provide tools needed to reduce opioid overdoses and deaths. The importance of data to support efforts is recognized, and ADPH will continue to assess data sources and consider methods for data dissemination. Education events and media campaigns will continue to promote evidence-based practices. In addition, enhancements to the PDMP that will improve data integrity and utilization are planned for the coming years.
ADPH is committed to implementing strategies that will reduce opioid-related deaths and provide mechanisms to encourage treatment of opioid use disorder.
If you are interested in helping find solutions and opportunities to make an impact on this problem, please contact:
Alabama Department of Public Health
Bureau of Prevention, Promotion and Support
P.O. Box 303017
201 Monroe Street, Suite 1010
Montgomery, AL 36130-3017
Phone: (334) 206-5226
Fax: (334) 206-3749
Page last updated: October 22, 2019