Georgia's Opioid Response

The Opioid and Substance Misuse Response Program is housed within the Division of Health Protection in the Georgia Department of Public Health. The program is responsible for leading statewide strategic planning efforts to respond to the opioid epidemic and other emerging substance misuse. 

Statewide strategic planning efforts in response to the opioid crisis include:

  • Convening a Committee on Multi-Cultural Inclusion and eight priority area Work Groups: Prevention Education, Maternal Substance Use, Data and Surveillance, Prescription Drug Monitoring Program (PDMP), Treatment and Recovery, Control and Enforcement, Harm Reduction, and Hopsice. 
  • Implementing targeted communications campaigns. 
  • Coordinating the placement of regional Public Health Analysts (PHAs) in Public Health Districts and Georgia Hospital Association’s Healthcare Coalitions. 

Statewide strategic planning efforts in response to other emerging substance misuse include:

  • Updating the statewide strategic plan to include emerging substance misuse trends. 
  • Developing response plans for addressing pain clinic closures and overdose spikes and/or clusters. 
  • Strengthening planning and preparedness efforts through importing and leveraging best-practices as identified through Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Association of State and Territory Health Officials (ASTHO), and Atlanta-Carolinas High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (A-C HIDTA).

Statewide grant application and management efforts include:

  • Seeking applicable grants to help build and sustain efforts addressing addictive diseases. 
  • Leveraging in-state and out-of-state partners, such as university systems, community stakeholders, other state agencies and non-governmental organizations to assist with potential funding opportunites to support Georgia’s efforts.

​Georgia's Multi-Stakeholder Opioid and Substance Use Response Plan, 2018

Mission: To implement a sustainable, collaborative and multi-disciplinary approach in response to Georgia’s opioid and substance misuse crisis.

Vision: To improve access to state and local data; to recommend and/or implement education best practices; and to promote the use of law enforcement, healthcare and public health resources to prevent the misuse of opioids and other substances in Georgia. 

Strategic Plan Work Group Recommendations 

Prevention Education Work Group

  • Goal 1: Secure substance misuse prevention funding and other resources needed in Georgia from new, additional funding streams.
  • Goal 2: Using education and awareness best practices, educate patients, their families, and the health care industry on substance misuse, prevention, and the opioid epidemic.
  • Goal 3: Increase statewide public awareness on substance misuse, prevention and the opioid epidemic.

Maternal Substance Use Work Group 

  • Goal 1: Develop a map of systems and collaborations to help with the delivery of and access to data, resources and services targeting women of child-bearing age.
  • Goal 2: Using best practices, educate women of child-bearing age, their partners, and their health care providers on substance misuse, prevention, interventions, treatment, the opioid epidemic, and Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome (NAS).
  • Goal 3: Expand access to treatment and recovery support services targeting women of child-bearing age.

Data and Surveillance Work Group 

  • Goal 1: Develop a data and surveillance oversight committee.
  • Goal 2: Identify, understand, and define relevant data.
  • Goal 3: Assess data needs.
  • Goal 4: Determine and operationalize a data and surveillance infrastructure.

Prescription Drug Monitoring Program (PDMP) Work Group 

  • Goal 1: Implement PDMP interoperability between states of interest.
  • Goal 2: Connect death data with the PDMP to ensure that the prescriptions of decease patients are not filled.
  • Goal 3: Establish capacity and regulatory pathways for clinical work flow integration with the PDMP.
  • Goal 4: Develop PDMP reports for distribution to the public and stakeholders.

Treatment and Recovery Work Group 

  • Goal 1: Increase access to treatment and recovery support services.
  • Goal 2: Reduce stigma and discrimination related to Opioid and/or Substance Use Disorders (OUDs/SUDs) and their treatment.
  • Goal 3: Provide community and provider education about OUD and SUD diagnosis, treatment, and recovery.
  • Goal 4: Identify harm reduction efforts. 

Control and Enforcement Work Group 

  • Goal 1: Improve communication between physicians, pharmacists, and law enforcement.
  • Goal 2: Reduce the supply of opioids on the street.
  • Goal 3: Improve/Increase training and education for law enforcement and first responders.

Download this pdf file. Multi-Stakeholder Opioid and Substance Use Response Plan

Related Websites

Related Resources

Contact Information 

Georgia Department of Public Health
Opioid and Substance Abuse Misuse Response Unit
2 Peachtree Street, NW, 9th Floor
Atlanta, GA 30303

[email protected]



Page last updated 7/28/2021