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.

You Hear What You See — Pictures Can Help End The Opioid Epidemic

You’re probably familiar with the saying: “A picture tells a thousand words”. But have you heard this quote from Doris Day? “You hear what you SEE.” She was right. The pictures we see from the opioid epidemic data, tells us stories that we can understand and remember.

Should we show you lines and lines of opioid epidemic data or a picture that depicts that data?  Which would you prefer?

The data images displayed on our computers are VISUALIZATIONS.  That’s the technical term.  Pictures = Visualizations.

THE 1LIFE PROJECT knows pictures can help SAVE LIVES.

OUR NATIONAL OPIOID DATA CENTER will INFORM our community of responders with the visualizations they need to save lives and end the opioid epidemic. The CDC has recently reported that the opioid epidemic is getting worse and they have reached conclusions by measuring the data.

We can do it.  WE WILL DO IT!

 

 

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.

 

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.

 

1Life Recommended Read: TIME “The Opioid Diaries”

On March 5, 2018 TIME magazine published a special report on the opioid epidemic called “The Opioid Diaries“. This issue addresses the opioid crisis over a range of states and cities, illustrated exclusively in the stunning black and white photography of James Nachtwey. The TIME issue goes through a series of quotes, photos and first-person narratives that challenge stigmas and provide the reader with new perspectives.

“I got in a car accident and was in the hospital three or four months. At first, I took it for the pain as prescribed, as needed. I started to like the buzz I began taking more than I was supposed to. Then a family member introduced me to heroin, and I actually cried at first because I didn’t feel any pain. All it takes is one time.”-Cassandra Blasingame, The Opioid Diaries, TIME (p.4)

 

The issue is brought to life with quotes such as these, gripping and emotional. While the photos by James Nachtwey illustrate the painful side of “addict”; they are juxtaposed with the quotes and stories from the interviewees. The perspective of the person behind the addiction–challenges what people think they know.

Anyone could be in an accident. Anyone could be prescribed addictive pain-killers. Anyone can find themselves struggling with addiction, or trying to escape pain.

“It’s hard to fathom and bitterly ironic; the depth of the suffering caused by drugs whose ostensible purpose is to alleviate pain.”

-(“From the Editors” The Opioid Diaries TIME (p.14))

 

The effort to alleviate chronic pain is a tale as old as time. The emergence, or reemergence, of the opioid epidemic, is a part of that adage. But we have the privilege of incredible technology and data tools that can accelerate the way we analyze and understand the opioid epidemic.  Unfortunately, weak data and a lack of protocol lead to lack of organization and accountability. The 1Life Project recognizes this is unacceptable.

The opioid epidemic is just a a health outbreak, easily tracked and analyzed by statistical factors. Visualized data can portray those complex multi-dimensional variables and provide the insight that saves lives.  The National Opioid Data Center will connect facilities and community responders so they can be in the right place, at the right time, with the right medicine, following up with the appropriate treatment. Together we can make informed decisions about the opioid crisis. Let’s save lives with data