CDC DOP's evidence-based approach to fighting the overdose crisis

We help the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's (CDC) Division of Overdose Prevention (DOP) give state, territory, and local health jurisdictions the tools they need to address the overdose epidemic in communities across the United States.

state, territory, and local health departments supported
hours of individual TA support

Since 2019, we’ve supported the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's (CDC) Division of Overdose Prevention (DOP) in helping 66 state and local health departments implement overdose prevention and surveillance strategies. Using our evidence-based and technology-forward approach to technical assistance (TA), the DOP TA Hub has accelerated the time it takes to understand and respond to recipient needs.


CDC logo

The overdose epidemic in the U.S. is dynamic and complex. While all states rely on CDC for critical data, finding threads of commonality amongst the disparate needs can be difficult. After all, each state, territory, and local health jurisdiction are dealing with a broad range of overdose issues and needs. Where one state may need help partnering with law enforcement to get reliable access to real-time data on overdose events that follows all HIPAA regulations, another needs assistance to successfully design and implement a staffing model to strengthen the availability of peer support services in hospital settings.

CDC DOP was looking for a way to quickly isolate what those needs are in order to understand and prioritize their limited resources—and get the needed support out to communities struggling with the overdose epidemic as rapidly as possible.


ICF’s proprietary, evidence-based TA framework—which takes the health departments’ needs and translates them into an effective learning experience—gets timely and relevant support to state and local jurisdictions. This includes using innovative artificial intelligence and machine learning technologies to assess needs. By understanding and addressing the evolving needs around overdose prevention and surveillance, CDC DOP has been able to rapidly get each jurisdiction the right support at the right time in the right way.


As of June 2023, we have designed, facilitated, and executed four CDC staff trainings, 43 peer exchanges, 42 virtual training webinars, and seven expert consultation events. Strategies and topics that we’ve supported through 1:1 TA engagements include establishing linkages to care, empowering individuals to make safer choices, public safety/public health partnerships, and Fentanyl test strips. Our DOP TA Hub website has 1,806 registered members, 551 curated resources in its resource library, and more than 447,000 page views since the site launched in 2020. We also developed an interactive dashboard to disseminate the results of the Capacity Assessment of TA Supports (CATS), which has greatly improved CDC DOP’s ability to quickly access assessment data and use those data to inform TA efforts.


CDC staff trainings


peer exchanges


individual TA engagements

“My favorite part about working with ICF is the spirit of teamwork that they bring on a consistent basis. This teamwork allows for increased innovation and makes the delivery of technical assistance a smooth and efficient process.”

DOP OD2A TA Coordinator
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