Agency Action Plan to Address Substance Use

Men and women suffering with pain trapped inside pill capsules.

Substance use is a complex problem with devastating and lasting effects across the lifespan. It strains our families, it ravages our communities, and threatens the well-being of our entire state. While opioids are still cause for concern, recent trends on the use of methamphetamines, marijuana, other illicit drugs, and alcohol cannot be ignored.

As the state agency entrusted with improving the health, safety, and well-being of Texas, DSHS is committed to addressing substance use.

An action plan was developed that details what needs to be accomplished in the next three calendar years. It was developed together with partners and stakeholders from across the state.

The plan describes the actions that DSHS will take to meet these goals and how progress will be measured in three key public health focus areas.

Surveillance — enhancing data collection, analysis, and dissemination on substance use.

Texas Syndromic Surveillance (TxS2)
Controlled Substance Overdose Reporting
Texas Health Data
Texas Violent Death Reporting System
Pregnancy Risk Assessment Monitoring System (PRAMS)

Education — empowering medical professionals, public health staff, and the general public with knowledge on substance use.

Resource Development — developing helpful resources for the general public, communities, and medical professionals.

Action Plan (PDF) Accessible Action Plan (PDF)


Health Education Design

HED Talks: Ideas Built to Inspire

Creating a new platform for sharing knowledge in ways that inspire is also part of the DSHS agency action plan to address substance use.

Health Education Design (HED) aims to do that with the help of Technology, Entertainment and Design (TED) talks. TED talks share knowledge about topics that matter. TED talks transform thinking and teach important life lessons in powerful and profound ways.

While the plan was to launch a TED-like HED talk series with ideas built to inspire, the challenges of COVID-19 call for an alternative approach. That’s where TED talks come in. DSHS invites you to watch, listen, and learn. Each one of these TED talks shares important ideas about improving health, beginning with the topic of substance use.

Ending the Opioid Crisis
Dr. Jennifer Potter | TEDxSanAntonio

Shaming the Sick: Substance Use and Stigma
Dr. Carolyn Greer | TEDxFortWayne

In the Opioid Crisis, Here's What It Takes to Save a Life
Jan Rader | TEDWomen 2018


Continuing Education Related to Substance Use

DSHS compiled a list of continuing education (CE) and continuing medical education (CME) for health professionals. Health professionals can use these resources to find continuing education related to substance use.

DSHS Continuing Education provides CME, nursing education (CNE), and pharmacy education (CPE) as well as other health professionals such as counselors, social workers, and psychologists.

Texas Health Steps provides CE accredited courses and tutorials for physicians, nurses, social workers, pharmacist, dentists, and other health professionals.


Additional Substance Use Resources for Health Professionals

Last updated June 10, 2022