CDC Foundation Announces Public Health and Safety Team (PHAST) Website Launch


Drug overdoses are a critical public health threat in the United States. From 2019 to 2020, there was an approximate 30% rise in drug overdoses. According to provisional mortality data, there were an estimated 100,000 drug overdose deaths in the U.S. during the 12-month period ending in April 2021.

Preventing drug overdose deaths requires strong and collaborative multi-sector partnerships within local communities. To help build those partnerships and inform community responses, the CDC Foundation is excited to announce the launch of the PHAST website.

The PHAST website provides resources to assist communities working in overdose response, including understanding the PHAST framework, identifying strategies, goals and approaches that can be tailored to help adopt and implement PHAST, and selecting relevant resources to increase partner participation and engagement.

In addition to a comprehensive resource library and a blog featuring success stories and promising practices from local PHAST Teams, national partners and others, the PHAST website includes content from the PHAST Toolkit, which provides data-driven guidance to help communities coordinate their overdose response. Developed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and supported by the CDC Foundation, the toolkit includes four modules, each with background, strategies, tools, templates and short videos designed to increase collaboration and coordination between public health and public safety agencies and reduce drug overdose deaths.

The PHAST website also includes the Basic Drug Use Epidemiology Guide, which provides drug use and overdose-related epidemiology standards to improve local, state and regional public health surveillance and epidemiology. As a supplement to the Public Health and Safety Team (PHAST) Toolkit, the guide offers analytical approaches for understanding opioid use and overdose, and strategies for preparing reports that guide data-driven decision making.

Public health and public safety partners working together at the local level are eager to apply the PHAST framework and tools.

“The benefit of implementing the PHAST is it brings diverse stakeholders together to allow for the coordination of law enforcement and public health opioid reduction efforts,” said a Camden County, New Jersey, PHAST Awardee. “It offers a path to streamline our efforts and target our resources so that they are most effective.”

For more information on the website and to learn more about PHAST email us at To access the PHAST Toolkit, the Basic Drug Use Epidemiology Guide, short videos and other resources, visit

The PHAST Toolkit was developed by CDC with support from the CDC Foundation as part of the Public Health and Safety Partnerships to Reduce Opioid Overdose. The PHAST Website was developed by the CDC Foundation with support from CDC, and the Basic Drug Use Epidemiology Guide was developed by the CDC Foundation and Vital Strategies. Financial support for this project was provided by the Bloomberg Overdose Prevention Initiative through a grant from Bloomberg Philanthropies.

Melanie Thompson
Melanie Thompson, MPH, is a program officer for the Non-Infectious Disease Programs at the CDC Foundation