The Overdose Prevention Initiative supports overdose prevention training for Congressional staff during National Recovery Month

Statement of Libby Jones, Program Director of the Overdose Prevention Initiative, Global Health Advocacy Incubator

September 29, 2022

Yesterday (September 28), the Overdose Prevention Initiative at the Global Health Advocacy Incubator (GHAI) was proud to support Representative David Trone (D-MD) and the Bipartisan Addiction and Mental Health Task Force in hosting a training for members of Congress and their staff on how to reverse an opioid overdose using the life-saving medication, naloxone. The event was attended by Representatives Trone, Kuster (D-NH), and Paul Tonko (D-NY), White House Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) Director Dr. Rahul Gupta, and more than fifty Capitol Hill staffers from offices of both parties in both the House and the Senate.

Libby Jones, the Program Director of the Overdose Prevention Initiative at GHAI, spoke to the audience about the importance of naloxone distribution in saving lives and thanking participants for their attendance. Participants also heard from Reps. Trone, Kuster, and Tonko about relevant legislation, including the Mainstreaming Addiction Treatment (MAT) Act. Dr. Gupta highlighted the efforts of the Biden Administration to stop the overdose crisis and thanked the organizers of the event. The event concluded with a training on how to use naloxone, facilitated by students at the Georgetown University School of Medicine.

“We are proud to support Representatives Trone, Kuster, and Tonko; the Bipartisan Addiction and Mental Health Task Force; and ONDCP in their efforts to prevent overdose deaths, increase access to treatment, and facilitate recovery.” said Jones. “The overdose crisis affects every American in every district and state. But every overdose death is preventable, and events like this demonstrate that overdose prevention transcends politics. The Congressional offices who participated in this training showed dedication to their constituents by learning how to administer naloxone.”

The training builds on the ongoing support for overdose prevention during National Recovery Month (September) from advocacy groups, the White House, and Congress:

  • The Overdose Prevention Initiative at GHAI led a coalition of public health, law enforcement, and health care groups in advocating for passage of the bipartisan MAT Act. Program Director Libby Jones co-authored an opinion in the Hill detailing the ways the MAT Act would assist in first responders’ efforts to provide first aid during drug overdoses.
  • Last week, the White House announced key actions to address the overdose crisis, including relaxing policies around naloxone to distribute the lifesaving medication to harm reduction groups more easily. The White House also hosted a Recovery Month Summit, highlighting the key actions and the work of recovery advocates.
  • Members of Congress, led by Rep. Trone, have shown their support for overdose prevention and recovery by touting key legislation, participating in a “Congress Goes Purple” advocacy event, and speaking at the White House Recovery Month Summit.

In the past twelve months, more than 108,000 people died from overdose in the United States. Every one of those deaths was preventable, but access issues for naloxone and medications for opioid use disorder persist. The Overdose Prevention Initiative at GHAI is committed to advancing policies that save lives by lifting restrictions around naloxone distribution and promoting access to treatment, like the MAT Act.

National Recovery Month celebrates the 21 million+ Americans in recovery from substance use disorder. As the month concludes, the Overdose Prevention Infinitive at GHAI will continue to advocate for legislation and policies that prevent overdose deaths, increase access to treatment, and reduce stigma.

Established in 2021, the Overdose Prevention Initiative at the Global Health Advocacy Incubator advances policy solutions that save lives and end the U.S. overdose crisis. The Initiative is dedicated to reducing inequities and disparities in substance use disorder care and expanding access to harm reduction services and substance use disorder treatment.

The Overdose Prevention Initiative is funded by Bloomberg Philanthropies and is a partnership between the Global Health Advocacy Incubator and the Tobacco Free Kids Action Fund.

For questions, please contact Ben Orton-Vipond at