A Dashboard of Opioid-Related Data and Information
Kelly E. Levy
Integrated Drug Awareness Dashboard
Recognizing that the solutions for defeating the State’s opioid crisis will arise from evidence-based strategies, and that policy must be driven by data rather than ideology, NJ CARES, relying primarily on federal grant money, created an electronic dashboard called the Integrated Drug Awareness Dashboard (“IDAD”). The IDAD integrates and cleanses to the extent necessary, law enforcement datasets (e.g., drug seizures, arrest data), prescription data from the NJ Prescription Monitoring Program (“NJPMP”), and public health datasets (de-identified EMS administrations of throughout the State). Public health and safety entities seeking to more effectively advance their respective missions are given role-based and right-to-know access to IDAD data so that they can conduct statistical and spatial analyses to bolster their understanding of the drug environment. As part of the IDAD initiative, NJ CARES worked with the NJSP Drug Monitoring Initiative (“DMI”) to develop:
- an At-Risk Matrix, which calculates the likelihood of overdose to county residents based on risk factors including their arrest and overdose histories. DMI generates lists of at-risk county residents and their contact information and makes those lists available to authorized local officials upon request. Such data enables local officials to formulate and engage in individualized outreach designed to facilitate those residents’ journeys onto a path to recovery.
- an interactive report called the Bio-Surveillance Indicator, which converts overdose data from law enforcement and EMS naloxone administrations into visual schematics. For example, an authorized user can drop a pin on a computerized map (or manually enter a street address) and instantly view all overdoses within a selected radius and time frame, and each heroin stamp associated with the overdoses. Aided by user-friendly charts and graphs, product users can compare historical data, identify hotspots, spot trends, perform predictive analysis, and be alerted to sudden overdose spikes.
- a Statewide Naloxone Report, which uses interactive visual analytics to show key metrics such as trends in naloxone administrations by law enforcement and EMS; patterns in naloxone administrations; demographics of recipients; changes in demographics of recipients; the most prevalent stamps involved in overdoses during a specific time frame; and the location of overdoses.
- a modernized/automated DMI Quarterly Report, which analyzes key metrics in the drug environment, and is designed to increase awareness among a larger cross-section of stakeholders such as treatment providers, mental health advocates, harm reduction centers, addiction and recovery specialists, and public health and safety agencies, so stakeholders can enhance their preparedness, devise targeted interventions and responsive strategies, be alerted to lethal batches of heroin, and optimize their policy.
NJ CARES and DMI continue to explore additional datasets to integrate into the IDAD to assist policymakers in formulating effective prevention strategies and meaningful evidence-based solutions to combat the opioid epidemic.