Marion county public health department

Opioid Response Plan

Indiana State Department of Health Overdose Response Project

In 2017, the Indiana State Department of Health (ISDH) received additional Prescription Drug Overdose: Prevention for States funding from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Grant 6 NU17CE002721-02-02 to implement a Rapid Response Project. The purpose of the Overdose Response Program is to assess current county-level capabilities and response readiness of local health departments (LHDs) and county stakeholders to overdose events. The pilot project began in January 2018 and will conclude August 31, 2018. Grant applications were open to all LHDs in Indiana. Sixteen LHDs applied and six awards were to the following counties: Clark, Fayette, Howard, Marion, Monroe, and Montgomery.

Grant recipients are required to use the Electronic Surveillance System for the Early Notification of Community-based Epidemics (ESSENCE). ESSENCE is a statewide syndromic surveillance system that is used by LHDs and reporting hospital facilities to analyze emergency department data. For this project, ESSENCE is used to identify emerging overdose trends and alert local partners of increased drug overdose activity. ESSENCE is also used to identify communicable disease outbreaks, including: meningitis clusters, hepatitis A, hepatitis B, mumps, and zika. ISDH has created overdose queries and routinely updates them to improve sensitivity and specificity of overdose data collected from hospital facilities.

Do you want to know more about ESSENCE? Please visit Are you a member of a reporting hospital facility or a local health department employee? If so, you may sign up for an ESSENCE account by contacting Kayley Dotson, Overdose Surveillance Systems Epidemiologist, at

MCPHD Rapid Increase in Drug Overdose Community Response Plan

Program Overview

Marion County Public Health Department (MCPHD) will continue to utilize, and further enhance, ESSENCE alert overdose queries developed to assess overdose events in community and hospital facilities. In the event of an opioid emergency, the MCPHD’s Epidemiology Department and Substance Use Outreach Services (SUOS) Program will respond by notifying MCPHD’s Emergency Preparedness Department; Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department (IMPD); Indianapolis Emergency Medical Services (IEMS); Project POINT (Planned Outreach, Intervention, Naloxone, and Treatment), a SAMHSA and U.S. Department of Justice-funded initiative at the Sidney and Lois Eskenazi Hospital; and other alert partners via phone or email contact, where appropriate.

In the event of a significant opiate emergency in a specific neighborhood(s), SUOS will schedule a community forum and layresponder naloxone training in that neighborhood to provide epidemiology data regarding the overdose event, as well as updated reports from SUOS community partners, including IMPD Community Engagement Center, neighborhood association groups, school administrators, and if appropriate, church leaders. The community forum will take place in addition to community forums that will be held monthly in high risk neighborhoods.

MCPHD Rapid Increase in Drug Overdose Community Response Plan

Program Objectives & Goals

This project aims to implement overdose response protocol and integrate into existing emergency framework and increase Marion County Preparedness to an Opioid Emergency by utilizing ESSENCE alert overdose queries to assess overdose events in the community. This will lead to increased overdose understanding in high risk neighborhoods, increased number of communication and collaboration conversations with community partners, community forums, and lay responder trainings in highly affected neighborhoods.


The project activities are as follows: Conduct daily ED overdose surveillance Utilize to assess overdose events in the community. Notify collaborative partners in the event of the opioid emergency. Use public service announcements in local newspaper, radio, and MCPHD’s website to inform public on the opioid situation in Marion County. Conduct educational community forums and naloxone trainings in neighborhoods and youth organizations. Conduct tabletop exercises to determine success and barriers to the proposed overdose response plan.


Community Partners

  • Indianapolis Emergency Medical Services
  • Eskenazi Hospital
  • Eskenazi Project POINT
  • St. Vincent Hospital
  • Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department
  • Community Health Network
  • Marion County Sheriff’s Office
  • Franciscan Health
  • Marion County Community Corrections
  • IU Health Methodist Hospital
  • Indianapolis Fire Department
  • IU Health University Hospital
  • Marion County Coroner’s Office
  • MCPHD Safe Syringe Program
  • Indiana State Department of Health
  • MCPHD Public Safety
  • Midtown Community Mental Health