Part 1: Understanding the Connections


Opioid overdose and suicide are among the leading causes of preventable death in the United States. A growing body of research suggests that these two major health concerns are closely linked. This webinar will examine current research on the connections between opioid abuse, overdose, and suicide. We will look at national data—exploring what they reveal about the relationship between these problems and what is still not known—as well as some of the ways state-, tribe-, and jurisdiction-level data can fill critical data gaps. Expert presenters will describe some of the populations at increased risk for both overdose and suicide death, and explore factors that contribute to these risks. Participants will also explore opportunities for collaborating across sectors to launch a coordinated response to opioid abuse and suicide, and hear examples from the field where this work is already underway.

This webinar is part one in a two-part series. In the second webinar, we will explore the relationship of chronic pain to opioid abuse, overdose, and suicide, including approaches to reduce risk among people experiencing chronic pain. Part two will be held on June 28—more details to come.


This webinar is for substance abuse and suicide prevention grantees and programs working in states, tribes, jurisdictions, and communities. Other practitioners with a vested interest in prevention efforts are also welcome to attend. 


Alex Crosby, MD, MPH

Dr. Crosby is senior medical advisor in the Division of Violence Prevention at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. An expert in the epidemiology and prevention of suicidal behavior and community preventive services, Dr. Crosby conducts descriptive and analytic research and community technical assistance to prevent self-directed violence. He is also an adjunct associate professor in the Department of Community Health and Preventive Medicine at the Morehouse School of Medicine, and lectures at Emory University’s Rollins School of Public Health.

Kristen Quinlan, PhD

Dr. Quinlan is a senior research associate at Education Development Center, serving as epidemiologist for SAMHSA’s Suicide Prevention Resource Center. In this role, she works across state suicide prevention systems to build their evaluation capacity and infrastructure for data collection, and locate and analyze existing data. Dr. Quinlan has conducted multiple literature reviews examining contributing factors and effective strategies for the non-medical use of prescription drugs, including opioids. She has also served as a contributing editor for Addiction Professional Magazine, Behavioral Healthcare Magazine, and Mental Health Weekly.

Certificates of Participation

Registered participants who attend events will be able to access a certificate of participation in PDF format for the duration of each event (click the "print certificate" link in your archived events listing once the event has concluded). We invite participants to submit these certificates to the substance abuse prevention credentialing board in their state, tribe, or jurisdiction. Please note that it is up to the individual credentialing board to determine if these hours are acceptable for professional credentialing or re-certification.

Contact Information

For questions about event content, please contact Rachel Pascale, Training and Technical Assistance Specialist, at If you have technical difficulties, questions, or comments prior to or during the event, please contact our tech team at Please put the event date in the subject of your email so that we can better respond to your inquiry.