The overdose epidemic is one of the biggest public health emergencies of our time. In 2021, 106,699 people in the United States died of a drug-involved overdose—a 51% increase from 2019. Of those, more than 70,000 died of an overdose from synthetic opioids, such as fentanyl. To effectively address the evolving nature of the overdose epidemic, a data-driven, multidisciplinary approach must be implemented across the full spectrum of prevention, intervention, treatment, and recovery.
Since 1988, RTI International has collaborated with the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) on the National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH), an annual survey that collects data on the scope of substance use and mental health issues across the United States. The study, which is administered to more than 67,000 people each year, includes questions on past year and lifetime use of alcohol, cannabis, heroin, opioids, cocaine, methamphetamines, and more.
Using decades of NSDUH experience as a foundation, we are exploring evidence-based approaches to address the scope of the overdose epidemic from several key angles.