SAMHSA Opioid Overdose Prevention Toolkit


Key Question: How can my organization help prevent opioid-related deaths? What resources are available after an overdose occurs?

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) Opioid Overdose Prevention Toolkit equips health care providers, communities, and local governments with material to develop practices and policies to help prevent opioid-related overdoses and deaths. It addresses issues for health care providers, first responders, treatment providers, and those recovering from opioid overdose.


  • Facts for Community Members
  • Five Essential Steps for First Responders
  • Information for Prescribers
  • Safety Advice for Patients & Family Members
  • Recovering From Opioid Overdose
Link to Tool: 

Summary of the Tool

Strategies to prevent overdose deaths for Community Members

  1. Encourage providers, persons at high risk, family members and others to learn how to prevent and manage opioid overdose.
  2. Ensure access to treatment for individuals who are misusing or addicted to opioids or who have other substance use disorders.
  3. Ensure ready access to naloxone.
  4. Encourage the public to call 911.
  5. Encourage prescribers to use state Prescription Drug Monitoring Programs.

Five Essential Steps for First Responders

  1. Call for Help (Dial 911)
  2. Check for Signs of Opioid Overdose
  3. Support the Person's Breathing
  4. Administer Naloxone
  5. Monitor the Person's Response

Information for Prescribers

  • Assess the patient.
  • State prescription drug monitoring programs.
  • Select an appropriate medication.
  • Educate the patient and obtain informed consent.
  • Monitor the patient's response to treatment.
  • Decide whether and when to end opioid therapy.

Safety advice for patients & family members

  • If you suspect an overdose call 911 immediately 
  • Naloxone is an antidote to opioid overdose. For more information on Naloxone click here: Naloxone


Type of Tool:

Publication Date: 

Prescription Opioids: Even When Prescribed by a Doctor

America's Epidemic of Opioid Abuse