Helping Communities Address the Opioid Crisis

Learn how our work on the opioid crisis has helped an Ohio county implement a coordinated and effective response.

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Lorain County, Ohio was struggling with a high rate of opioid overdoses. A local foundation enlisted Altarum to aid the community in creating a roadmap to guide the response and ensure efficient use of all available resources. We employed a three-phased approach of analyzing the problem, engaging the community in strategic planning, and identifying best practices and recommendations for action.

Our Approach

During Phase I, we completed an environmental scan and identified geographic gaps in the distribution of the county’s existing local treatment and recovery services. In Phase II, we conducted interviews and held focus groups with dozens of local stakeholders, including professionals in recovery service, health care, government, and faith-based and criminal justice organizations. And in Phase III, we reviewed evidence-based practices to address the opioid crisis that are relevant to the community.


We assembled this information into a roadmap that the community is now implementing. Because of our work, the county is employing effective practices informed by evidence, coordinating care more efficiently across organizations, and directing resources where the need is greatest.

Helping Communities Address the Opioid Crisis Contact

Contact Us

Elizabeth Burden  - MS

Senior Specialist and Technical Assistance Director, Behavioral Health

Areas of Expertise
  • Behavioral Health
  • Peer Recovery Support Services
  • Substance Use Disorder Prevention

Elizabeth provides consulting and support to Bureau of Justice Assistance (part of the U.S. Department of Justice) grantees to foster best practices and promising approaches related to peer support. Prior to joining Altarum, she was the chief executive officer of the Council on Accreditation of Peer Recovery Support Services. Elizabeth has a master's degree from the University of Arizona.

Diana Williams  - MSW

Program Manager, Behavioral Health

Areas of Expertise
  • Peer Recovery Support Services
  • Community-based Recovery Support Systems
  • Behavioral Health

Diana provides technical assistance to states and localities, helping them develop community-based recovery support systems. Diana previously served as the Director of Substance Abuse Services and director of programs for the Indiana Department of Corrections, and as Deputy Director of Substance Abuse and Emergency Preparedness Services and Deputy Director of Mental Health and Addiction Services for the state of Indiana. Diana is a licensed clinical social worker and has a master's degree from Indiana University in Indianapolis where she also was an Associate Professor.