The city of Chicago, Illinois, is home to more than 2 million people. In 2021, the city lost 1,316 community members because of drug overdose.* The city had previously explored implementing an overdose fatality review (OFR) to support the existing programs offered throughout the city to address drug overdose, but it lacked the staff to work through the initial planning process. In spring 2022, the Chicago Mayor’s Office and the Chicago Department of Public Health partnered with the Overdose Response Strategy (ORS) public health analyst in Illinois to begin the process of developing an OFR for the city. This presentation demonstrates the impact of leveraging existing partnerships to build a robust OFR program and highlights the effective utilization of existing resources such as the Bureau of Justice Assistance’s Comprehensive Opioid, Stimulant, and Substance Abuse Program (COSSAP) technical assistance tools and state and national ORS program subject-matter experts in the field. In addition, this presentation will walk through challenges faced by the Chicago OFR planning team, such as refining case selection methodologies and data sharing scenarios in a state without legislation specific to OFR, and draw attention to the innovative solutions and recommendations that resulted from these challenges.
*Source: Illinois Department of Public Health Death Statistics: Drug Overdose Death by County.
Keywords: overdose fatality review OFR Chicago Overdose Response Strategy ORD