Press Room

ASTHO Opioid Framework Assists Health Officials in Combating the Epidemic

ARLINGTON, VA (Sept. 20, 2017)—The Association of State and Territorial Health Officials (ASTHO) unveiled a new tool designed to help public health leaders respond to the nation’s opioid crisis. Based on state and national plans, the Preventing Opioid Misuse in the States and Territories framework highlights four key strategies for health officials to carry out in partnership with governmental and non-governmental organizations to coordinate a comprehensive approach to preventing opioid misuse in their jurisdictions. 

“Many of us have seen firsthand how opioid misuse profoundly impacts individuals, families, and communities. It is one of the top public health priorities for our nation and we all have a role to play in addressing the health and social problems related to substance misuse,” says ASTHO President Jay Butler. “This new framework gives state and territorial public health leaders a roadmap for strengthening their agencies’ existing opioid plans and leading across government to formulate multi-program, government-wide responses.”

Health officials and public health leaders met Wednesday at ASTHO’s 2017 Annual Meeting to discuss approaches to prevent opioid misuse and addiction, which helped inform state and territorial efforts to end this deadly epidemic. “Our framework builds on the work of many state plans and aligns well with HHS Secretary Tom Price’s five strategic priorities. It is our hope that health officials can use our framework to further mobilize their responses at the state and territorial levels,” explains ASTHO executive director Michael Fraser.

The four key strategies presented in the framework are:

  1. Improve monitoring and surveillance of prescription and illicit opioid use.
  2. Expand and strengthen evidence-based primary prevention and education strategies.
  3. Manage access to prescription opioids.
  4. Improve access to and use of effective treatment and recovery support.

On Wednesday, health officials and partners also heard from leadership at the National Institutes of Health, SAMHSA, and the Royal Society for Public Health, who shared perspectives and cutting edge approaches for addressing substance misuse and addictions.

Visit to view the framework, access resources, and learn about promising practices that state and territorial health agencies are undertaking to end the opioid epidemic.


ASTHO is the national nonprofit organization representing the public health agencies of the United States, the U.S. territories, and the District of Columbia, as well as the more than 100,000 public health professionals these agencies employ. ASTHO members, the chief health officials of these jurisdictions, are dedicated to formulating and influencing sound public health policy and to ensuring excellence in state-based public health practice.