Operation UNITE (Unlawful Narcotics Investigations, Treatment, and Education)

Multi-county, broad-based prevention initiative focusing on youth education, community coalitions, entry into treatment, and drug investigations

Since 2004, Operation UNITE serves 32 counties in Southeastern Kentucky through a comprehensive, multi-faceted approach to substance misuse.

Major initiatives include:

  • school-based and community prevention education programs
  • county-based coalitions
  • facilitating entry into treatment
  • narcotics investigations

A wide variety of student and youth education programs are offered, many focusing on sports and other recreational activities.

UNITE also initiates and supports a yearly national conference on responses to the opioid crisis (the Rx Summit) which presents research and innovative approaches across the continuum of care.

More information on Operation UNITE can be found in the presentation here

Operation UNITE had a significant impact on reducing prescription opioid-related poison center calls. 

Continuum of Care
Type of Evidence
Response Approach
Early Intervention
Peer-reviewed Article

Evidence of Program Effectiveness

A 2007 conference paper presented findings that Operation UNITE had “a significant positive impact” on prescription opioid-related poison center (PC) calls. “Since implementation, change in PC abuse rates have significantly decreased within the UNITE region.”

Also, Operation UNITE's initiatives in school-based and community-based prevention as well as community coalition building have shown positive results