Combatting Opioids

Addressing the United States Opioid Crisis

Saving lives by supporting states to reduce opioid overdose deaths

Over 67,000 people died in the United States in 2018 from drug overdose and over 46,000 of those deaths were opioid related – more than guns and car crashes. In 2018, Bloomberg Philanthropies announced an initiative to address this public health epidemic and save lives by supporting high-impact, state-based interventions that can be replicated by other states and localities.

The initiative has three approaches, each guided by evidence-based solutions and tailored to support states’ specific needs:


  1. Develop and implement comprehensive public health strategies to tackle the opioid crisis in two hard-hit states, Michigan and Pennsylvania, through collaboration with the state government to identify opportunities and implement evidenced-based interventions.
  2. Policy recommendations and technical expertise in up to eight hard-hit states to guide government planning and prioritization. The first states identified to receive this level of support are New Jersey, New Mexico, Maine, West Virginia as well as Washington, DC.
  3. Pilot and develop guidelines and tools to scale evidence-based intervention throughout different localities nationwide.