Ending the opioid crisis will require a well-coordinated effort from law enforcement, first responders, health organizations. The members of the community, rescuing patients and administering immediate care have a unique understanding of the opioid crisis; it is logical and essential to facilitate communication between them.
Due to the data collected by law enforcement and EMS teams, there have already been developments in life-saving preventative measures and outreach. The National Opioid Data Center by the 1Life Project would connect officials across the country. Lowell Massachusetts is an excellent, recent example of how managed data can help us understand the opioid epidemic.
An EMS organization in Lowell Massachusetts, Trinity EMS is collecting data along with a company called First Watch. Lowell is one of 35 cities in the entire country using a live data feed to combat the opioid crisis. Consequently, Lowell has been able to uniquely understand the epidemic in their community and respond appropriately.
What Lowell is Doing Now!
+ Tracking the locations of affected areas with discarded needle data
+ Preventing needle exposure to neighborhood residents
+ Recognizing opioid-related spikes in diseases (HIV, Hepatitis, bacterial infection)
+Detecting the presence of drug contaminants through overdose spikes
+Providing Fentanyl test strips, Narcan and Narcan education
+Issuing citizen warnings and saving lives
The 1Life Project has recognized the importance of managed data in ending the opioid crisis. As a result, we are currently building our National Opioid Data Center, to be the centralized tool to manage and understand the opioid epidemic. The information gathered from overdose clusters, comorbidities, incident spikes etc can save lives and communities.