Implementation of Overdose Prevention in Maryland: Implications for Resource Allocation, Program Scale-Up, and Evaluation

Catherine Tomko, Saba Rouhani, Renee M. Johnson, Ryoko Susukida, Himani Byregowda, Taylor Parnham, Kristin E. Schneider, Marianne Gibson, Teresa Heath, Robin Rickard, Christine E. Boyd, Ju Nyeong Park

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Overdose mortality in the United States continues to climb, with Maryland being one of the hardest hit states. We summarized implementation of overdose prevention and response programs in Maryland and identified associations between opioid overdose deaths by jurisdiction in 2019 and implementation of overdose programs by 2021. Data on program implementation are from Maryland’s Opioid Operational Command Center (OOCC) Program Inventory. OOCC coordinates the state’s response to overdose, and their Program Inventory tracks implementation of 145 programs across 12 domains (e.g., public health, education, and judiciary), including 10 programs designed to broaden naloxone access. The level of program implementation was dichotomized as substantial implementation versus other levels (i.e., partial, planned, and none). We estimated associations between per capita opioid overdose deaths and substantial implementation of: all 145 programs in the Inventory, programs within each of 12 domains, and 10 naloxone programs. Data on program implementation and overdose mortality are summarized at the jurisdiction level. Across jurisdictions, the median proportion of programs with substantial implementation was 51% across all programs and 70% among naloxone programs. Overdose mortality was associated with subsequent substantial implementation of programs within the public health domain (p =.04), but not in the other 11 domains. We did not find evidence that per capita overdose deaths in 2019 spurred overdose program implementation by 2021, with the exception of public health programs. The OOCC Program Inventory is a novel way to track implementation across jurisdictions. Findings can inform the implementation and evaluation of overdose programs in other jurisdictions across the United States.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalHealth promotion practice
StateAccepted/In press - 2023


  • evaluation methods
  • implementation
  • mortality
  • overdose
  • public health laws/policies
  • substance use

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Nursing (miscellaneous)


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