This report presents key recommendations for addressing the epidemic of drug overdose deaths in the United States, based on the deliberations of a 2-day virtual workshop held March 11 and 12, 2021, with participants that included pioneering law enforcement leaders, practitioners in public health, and relevant researchers.
One recommendation is to establish first-responder deflection and pre-arrest diversion programs that connect people with stimulant and other substance-use disorders with treatment and other appropriate services. A second recommendation is to develop more robust methods for identifying, tracking, and analyzing the illicit drug supply market. Workshop participants also agreed on the importance of educating the public about ways to address the stigma associated with substance use and addiction that often keeps it hidden and untreated. Support was also urged for community-based programs that increase awareness of the adverse consequences linked with the misuse of uncontrolled substances dispensed through unregulated or unknown sources. This report advises that the panel on the Scope and Science of Stimulant Addiction has emphasized the importance of collaborations with public safety and public health partners in preventing and reducing stimulant-use disorder.