Carroll authors CDC guidelines for combating the opioid epidemic

The new resource summarizes 10 key opioid overdose prevention strategies for public heath, law enforcement, local organizations, and others striving to serve their community.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Prevention and Control (CDC) has released a new set of recommendations for current best practices in combating opioid overdose at the community level (link leads to a PDF file). This publication was more than a year in the making and involved a collaborative team of researchers, community advocates, and subject matter experts from a variety of backgrounds and across government agencies.

Jennifer Carroll, assistant professor of anthropology  at Elon University, was the lead author of these new recommendations. Before joining the faculty at Elon, Carroll served as the lead subject matter expert on overdose prevention on a joint opioid response program led by the CDC and High Intensity Drug Trafficking Areas (HIDTAs, a drug intelligence and enforcement program funded through the Office of National Drug Control Policy) designed to help public health and law enforcement improve coordination in combating the opioid crisis.

This CDC/HIDTA collaboration uncovered a need to improve public education about successful, evidence-based strategies to reduce rates of opioid overdose. This new set of recommendations, carefully crafted to explain these strategies and the evidence behind them in lay language, was produced in response to this need.

It is particularly significant that two of the authors who designed these recommendations, Rita Noonan and Carroll, are sociocultural scientists, hailing from the disciplines of sociology and cultural anthropology, respectively. Their contributions to creating this resource and in guiding CDC/HIDTA efforts to prevent overdose more broadly are a reflection of how essential the skills and insights imparted by the social sciences are to solving contemporary social problems.

The full publication can be found online here:

More information on overdose prevention from the CDC can be found here: https://www.cdc.gov/drugoverdose/index.html

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