Poverty May Be Linked To Opioid Deaths, A New Study Suggests.

The opioid epidemic is only getting worse. The locations of the highest incident clusters of opioid death are some of the most disadvantaged areas of the country. In fact, a recent study reports that poverty may be fueling the opioid epidemic.

“The clusters where opioid deaths were highest, were in Appalachia, Oklahoma, parts of the Southwest, and northern California” says Shannon Monnat an associate professor of sociology at Syracuse University in New York.  

The lowest rates of opioid death are in the Northeast, the Black Belt of Alabama and Mississippi, Texas, and the Great Plains, Monnat said.

The 1Life Project will deliver technology to SHOW near real-time data. It is important to inform stakeholders about the overdose clusters and opioid deaths.  Real time and interactive data is a valuable tool for identifying where communities are struggling. Most importantly, communities with information can IMMEDIATELY deploy interventions, and save 1Life.

“Failure to consider the substantial geographic variation in drug-related mortality rates may lead to failure to target the hardest-hit areas.”

There are areas in the United States that have alarming disparities in the incident rates. The demographic of the poorer regions in the United States face socioeconomic issues that complicate struggles with addiction. We have the numbers, therefore we cannot lose any more lives to the opioid epidemic.

Data is able to portray information easily through visualization. The National Opioid Data Center from The 1Life Project will display the clusters as they are happening. We will end the opioid epidemic through the same medium that we are tracking and understanding it, data. Follow the 1Life Project, because we are getting ready to launch our National Opioid Data Center and save lives.

Lowell Massachusetts using data against the opioid crisis

Police Data Opioid Crisis

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.

Emergency room opioid crisis
Emergency room opioid crisis

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.


Catch the Clusters and Avoid Overdose Death

As overdose death spikes in cities across the country, data collection provide deeper insight into the opioid epidemic. Drug dealers are making money on addiction and overdose death.  Drug-death expert Scott Schmidt, the chief coroner in Orleans County, just west of Rochester, NY, described a nightmare scenario of ruthless dealers preying on thousands of New Yorkers severely addicted to opioids.

Fact:  New about overdose death, to serious addicts, translates to them as “good high” so they flock to the area of the death for the drug.

Fact:  The 1Life Project is building an information platform that will provide near real-time information to law enforcement to prevent clusters of overdose deaths.

It is a sad reality, but overdose death is good for drug sales. When users find out that someone died from an overdose they say “Wow that must’ve been some great stuff and a tremendous high,” says Scott Schmidt.

opioid overdose death

“Then all of a sudden you have a cluster of overdose death because this dealer put some deadly mix of drugs out there.”

Due to a variety of issues, fentanyl, dosage etc. overdose spikes create incident clusters on data maps. These clusters provide a target area that alert community officials to initiate problem resolution. The National Opioid Data Center will highlight clusters of overdoses for immediate response and deployment of law enforcement and community intervention.

All Hands on Deck Effort Needed….CDC Says

The tide of America’s drug overdose and the opioid crisis isn’t turning. In fact, the epidemic seems to be getting worse, according to a detailed new report by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC).

The public health crisis will take an all-hands effort to solve.

“Effective, synchronized programs to prevent drug overdoses will require coordination of law enforcement, first responders, mental health/substance-abuse providers, public health agencies, and community partners,” said Dr. Puja Seth, the new CDC report’s lead author.


From 2016 to 2017 emergency room visits from opioid related incidents jumped 25%. The CDC is recommending that healthcare organizations contribute to the management of the crisis by doing the following:

+ Issue citizen warnings in the case of overdose incident spikes

+ Make nalaxone accessible to community officials as well as users and their family and friends

+Increase the availability and access to addiction treatment centers and mental health services

+Monitor opioid-related disease from unsafe usage (HIV, Hepatitis B, Hepatitis C, bacterial endocarditis, etc.)

“Research shows that people who have had an overdose are more likely to have another. Emergency department education and post-overdose protocols, including providing naloxone and linking people to treatment, are critical needs.Data on opioid overdoses treated in emergency departments can inform timely, strategic, and coordinated response efforts in the community as well.”   Alana Vivolo-Kantor, Ph.D., behavioral scientist at CDC’s National Center for Injury Prevention and Control.

Here at The 1Life Project we are building the platform to bring the data together for a COMPLETE view of drug-related activities with data from first responders, hospitals, local data.

Our Opioid Data Center will deliver an integrated platform to the crisis into clear view.


Armed with Data

Officials in Indiana are ahead of the game – ARMED WITH DATA VISUALIZATION!

Indiana uses data-visualization tools, so agencies on the front-line that provide the data can log in and observe trends over time.

Terry Cook, assistant director of Indiana’s Division of Mental Health and Addiction, says the state’s investment [in technology] is already paying off. When officials were deciding where to locate five new opioid- treatment facilities earlier this year, they turned to their new data visualization technology to show them a map of overdoses and instances where paramedics administered naloxone. Then, they measured the distance between overdose hotspots and the nearest treatment facilities to identify gaps where the new clinics might be most effective.

Indiana’s technology fought the crisis and saved lives!

The 1Life Project – connecting to create a National Opioid Data Center.

Come join us.  info@1Life.io