How Virginia communities fight the opioid epidemic

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News

March 5, 2020

How Virginia communities fight the opioid epidemic

America continues to face a well-documented opioid epidemic. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 130 Americans die each day from an opioid overdose. In the current “third wave” of the opioid epidemic, synthetic opioids are often added to street drugs like heroin and cocaine. The situation is serious and dire. But progress in the battle against opioids is being made, in part thanks to technology.

Data collected by state and local agencies can offer a far more detailed understanding of the crisis, allowing government and community organizations alike to better see how drugs are affecting their neighborhoods and how they should respond. The key to fighting the opioid battle might just be combining datasets from disparate organizations — from police departments to the judiciary to health care providers — to gather insights that are actionable on the front lines.