Actions and Strategies to End the Nation’s Drug Overdose Epidemic

The nation’s overdose and death epidemic continues to get worse, but policymakers and other stakeholders have yet to fully embrace evidence-based solutions to help those with a substance use disorder (SUD), patients with pain or those who need harm reduction services. Given that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported that the predicted number of drug overdose deaths in the 12-month period ending in April 2021 exceeded 100,000 for the first time ever,1 it’s far past time for action.

In December 2020, the American Medical Association (AMA) and Manatt Health released a national policy roadmap with detailed policy recommendations for stakeholders to take action. In a new webinar, based on the soon-to-be-released 2022 AMA-Manatt Toolkit, we build on the 2020 roadmap by identifying states that have taken action based on the roadmap’s recommendations. States can use this new toolkit to identify their own deficiencies and work to enact and implement the specific laws and other policies in the toolkit to help end the epidemic. The toolkit is organized across six areas:

  1. Increasing access to evidence-based treatments to help patients with an SUD.
  2. Ensuring access to addiction medicine, psychiatrists and other trained physicians.
  3. Enforcing mental health and SUD parity laws.
  4. Improving access to multidisciplinary, multimodal care for patients with pain.
  5. Expanding harm reduction efforts to reduce death and disease.
  6. Improving monitoring and evaluation to inform evidence-based interventions.


Host: Joel Ario, Managing Director, Manatt Health


  • Bobby Mukkamala, MD, Chair, AMA Board of Trustees, AMA Task Force on the Overdose Epidemic
  • Michael Conway, Commissioner of the Colorado Division of Insurance (DOI)
  • Nabarun Dasgupta, MPH, PhD, Senior Scientist, Opioid Disorder and Overdose, University of North Carolina Gillings School of Global Public Health
  • Kelly Pfeifer, MD, Deputy Director of Mental Health and Substance Use Disorder Services, California Department of Health Care Services

Date and Time:

Monday, February 7.

1 “Drug Overdose Deaths in the U.S. Top 100,000 Annually,” CDC. November 17, 2021. Available here:

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This program does not constitute legal advice, nor does it establish an attorney-client relationship. Views expressed by presenters are strictly their own and should not be construed to be the views of Manatt or attributed to Manatt.



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