Opioid Policy Fellows



NCSL is pleased to announce the Opioid Policy Fellows Program for 2022 following successful cohorts in 2018, 2019, 2020 and 2021. The Opioid Policy Fellows Program is focused on health policies and programs being addressed by state legislatures across the country, such as strengthening prescription drug monitoring programs, developing prescribing guidelines, increasing naloxone access, and supporting access to treatment and recovery services. The program will also address the intersections with human services and criminal justice issues. Legislative trends and action, research and evidence, and other innovative topics and cost-effective strategies will be covered during this yearlong program. Up to 20 to 25 legislators will be selected for the program, which is designed to support legislators who are experienced or emerging leaders on opioid addiction and overdose issues.

Learn more about the 2022 Opioid Policy Fellows cohort here.

Learn more about the 2021 Opioid Policy Fellows cohort here.

Learn more about the 2020 Opioid Policy Fellows cohort here.

Learn more about the 2019 Opioid Policy Fellows cohort here. 

Learn more about the 2018 Opioid Policy Fellows cohort here.

Program Goals

Fellows will have the opportunity to be part of a peer learning community with other legislators and will be able to directly engage with leading research and policy experts in the field. The program includes two face-to-face meetings wtih experts and other legislators, and two virtual seminars/webinars. Fellows also develop an individual action plan, for which NCSL will provide support throughout the year. The program is ideal for those leaders who want to expand their knowledge and take action in their own states. 

The program is based on NCSL’s Early Learning Fellows model, which has successfully graduated seven classes of legislators and legislative staff with expanded knowledge and motivation around early childhood issues. NCSL's new Opioid Policy Fellows will:

  • Build knowledge about new research and policy.
  • Be part of a peer learning environment fostering the exchange of ideas and solutions related to opioid misuse and overdose and many related issues.
  • Meet, connect and learn from other legislative leaders.
  • Receive the exclusive opportunity to connect with leading researchers and policy experts.
  • Identify action steps as part of a practical plan for immediate use in your state.

This program is made possible by funding from the National Center for Injury Prevention and Control, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. 

Program Application and Selection Process

The Opioid Policy Fellows is a competitive program; interested legislators must apply to participate. NCSL will review completed applications and select up to 20 to 25 participants to be part of the program. Please be aware that our funding limits the number of fellows to a maximum class size and not all applicants may be accepted into the program. Applications are due February 12. Applicants who cannot immediately be accepted to the program will be notified of their waitlist status and may be accepted in November as space becomes available. Legislators will be chosen based on interest, geographic representation, balance of political party make-up and overall points awarded to thoroughness of application responses. The program dates begin in the new year. 

Additional Resources