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Legal & Policy Approaches to Reducing Prescription Drug Overdose

A Public Health Law Academy training

Good Governance

Fatal poisonings have increased by nearly 600 percent in the past three decades. Prescription painkillers called opioids, often used in conjunction with other medications, are largely driving this drastic rise. Hospital admissions for non-fatal overdose associated with opioids, sedatives, and tranquilizers have also increased substantially. Recently, deaths caused by heroin have increased as well, with heroin-related fatalities doubling from 2010 to 2012.

In a number of states, legal and policy approaches have been undertaken to attempt to reduce this growing epidemic.

This training will help you understand

  • the problem of prescription drug overdose in the United States;
  • points of action to reduce overdose risk including prescription monitoring programs and naloxone access laws; and
  • best practices in law and policy to reduce overdose.


This training was last updated in 2016.