Who We Are and What We Do

The Don’t Die, Staying Alive program is a Baltimore City Health Department initiative funded through the Opioid Operational Command Center (OOCC). Our Opioid Overdose Prevention Team is committed to community engagement, and citywide collaboration for every Baltimore resident to have adequate resources and education to address substance use disorder. Assisting Baltimore City residents to combat non-fatal overdose and overdose deaths by providing resources and education to help all individuals achieve health equity. We envision a Baltimore where people living with substance use disorder, their families, and communities can thrive.

Two women teaching a class on opioid history

Our Teams and Programs

The Baltimore City Health Department houses 3 teams to address the opioid crisis. Our Opioid Overdose Prevention Team, Community Risk Reduction Services, and Healthcare on the SPOT team work diligently to address the needs of both clients and community members. With strategic planning, harm reduction, and access to treatment and care, our programs aim to increase the quality of life for residents living with substance use disorder.

“The strength of the team is each individual member, the strength of each member is the team.”

The Opioid Overdose Prevention Team Initiatives:

  • The Overdose Fatality Review Team: A citywide convening of stakeholders responsible for reviewing and investigating overdose death cases in Baltimore City, in order to provide local and statewide recommendations to improve health outcomes for individuals living with substance use disorders and their families.
  • The Opioid Intervention Team: A citywide convening of stakeholders that collaborate to implement recommendations created by our strategic planning team.
  • The Mobile Unit Coalition: A citywide convening of local non-profit, and community-based organizations owning mobile units that provide services to Baltimore residents. The Overdose Response Program Committee (ORP): A citywide convening of ORP’s, who are responsible for coordinating naloxone distribution and co-locating resources to communities in need.
  • Naloxone trainings for organizations and community members – Coordinating access to treatment in Baltimore’s medical system through Levels of Care -Collaborating with EMS for naloxone distribution through EMS Leave Behind.
  • Organizing waivered clinicians to help increase access to treatment using our Hub and Spokes Model – Hosting community events across the city.
  • Creating education and media campaigns surrounding stigma and substance use disorder.

5-Pillar Strategy:

BCHD has a five-pronged strategy for combatting the opioid crisis:

  • Save lives with naloxone – When administered to an individual experiencing an overdose, this antidote medication can take them from near-death to walking and talking in a matter of minutes. The first step in fighting the opioid crisis is the acute response: saving lives today by getting naloxone into the hands of first responders and bystanders alike.
  • Increase access to on-demand, evidence-based treatment – BCHD endorses evidence-based medication-assisted treatment (MAT), along with social and wraparound services to treat the disease of opioid addiction.
  • Fight the stigma of addiction through education – Addiction is a disease. Similar to heart disease, addiction is preventable and treatable. For more information on fighting the stigma of addiction and educational materials about addiction.
  • Prevention – Prevention is a vital role in combating the opioid epidemic before it even starts. Prevention and early intervention strategies reduce the impacts of substance use and mental health disorders. Our team’s primary prevention focus is on Baltimore City youth.
  • Data – Utilizing data and trends to inform health strategies to increase the quality of life for residents of Baltimore.