School of Professional Studies

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Public Administration (MPA)


School of Professional Studies

Chief Instructor

Kerry Morris, MPA, Adjunct Professor

Second Reader

Kerry Morris

Third Reader

Clark University Writing Center


Opioids, epidemic, overdose, crisis, post-overdose outreach, safety, law enforcement.


The opioid epidemic not only kills thousands every year but sees thousands survive overdoses only to overdose again in a continuous cycle. Massachusetts is no stranger to this epidemic, with numbers and patterns mirroring national rates. Newer changes to the drug supply, with fentanyl becoming increasingly used, sold, and cut with other drugs., have been on the rise and impact current opioid overdoses rates. Preventative measures are needed to address this public safety and public health crisis, not only bettering the current rates but decreasing future ones. This paper will first look at the methodology and literature used to understand the epidemic and the post-overdose outreach approach to prevention. Then it will detail relevant background of the opioid crisis in the United States, explain some of the more recent challenges and discuss changes that have worsened the crisis. This paper will then focus on post-overdose outreach programs led by law enforcement and public safety agencies as well as provide multiple examples of programs implemented across the country. These examples will provide a backbone for future programs and highlight some of the challenges and paradoxes to the success of program implementation and expansion. This paper will conclude with a call for more universal and uniform post-overdoses outreach programs from county to county in Massachusetts, utilizing federal funding opportunities, with the goal of addressing the opioid crisis.





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