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Surveillance for Opioid Overdose in the Veterans Health Administration, 2004-2014


Drug poisoning, or overdose, is an epidemic problem in the United States1,2. In keeping with national trends, a recent study combining U.S. Veterans Health Administration (VHA) data with the National Death Index showed increases in opioid overdose mortality from 2001 to 20093. One of the challenges in monitoring the overdose epidemic is that collecting cohort data to analyze overdose rates can be laborintensive. Moreover, analysts are often unable to collect real-time data on overdose events. To explore solutions to these challenges, we examined opioid overdose by using Veteran healthcare data already being collected for syndromic surveillance.


To examine inpatient admissions for opioid overdose among U.S. Veterans using national-level surveillance data.


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