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CSTE approves Interim Position Statement for Nonfatal Opioid Overdose

ATLANTA, Jan. 18, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- The Council of State and Territorial Epidemiologists (CSTE) has announced the approval of an interim position statement for nonfatal opioid overdose case definition for standardized public health surveillance. Coinciding with the recent National Safety Council report declaring drug poisoning the number one cause of unintentional death in the U.S., CSTE's new position statement is a step toward an overall national surveillance case definition for the reporting of all nonfatal opioid overdose incidents to public health departments across the country. The interim position statement also supports the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services' five-point strategy to combat the ongoing opioid crisis. View the interim position statement HERE.

"A nonfatal opioid overdose event is the strongest risk factor predicting a fatal overdose, so CSTE acted swiftly to put forward a standardized surveillance case definition for the accurate and complete reporting of people who survive opioid overdoses," said CSTE Executive Director Jeffrey Engel, MD. "The case definition will assist public health agencies in identifying survivors of opioid overdose and link them to care and other interventions, ultimately saving lives."

Each year, CSTE considers position statements on an array of subjects, from infectious disease to substance use and mental health to workplace injury policy issues that could affect state or local law, rules or regulation. Position statements are proposed, discussed, and ratified or rejected by the "Council," which is a voting body comprised of the State Epidemiologists from all U.S. states and territories. Standardized case definitions improve national health monitoring and interactions between healthcare providers and public health disease investigators.

"Each time we tackle a new disease outbreak or crisis, like Zika, Ebola and now the national opioid epidemic, we are reminded of the importance of a coordinated approach to solve the problem," added Dr. Engel. "CSTE works to bridge federal, state and local health departments, and healthcare providers through the implementation of standardized methods for data and information sharing."

About CSTE
Founded in 1951, the Council of State and Territorial Epidemiologists (CSTE) represents the interests of State Epidemiologists from all 50 U.S. states and territories, comprising the Council. CSTE is also the professional home for nearly 2000 practicing applied epidemiologists working at the state, local, tribal and territorial levels. Contact: Jeremy Arieh, Director of Communications, at or 770-458-3811. For info, visit

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Last Updated: 20-Jan-2019