A Second Chance: Overdose Prevention, Naloxone, and Human Rights in the United States

This report, published April 2017 from Human Rights Watch, explores measures required for an effective program to prevent opioid overdose deaths and current legal, policy and other challenges to be addressed.

January 02, 2018

Outbreak Report: Opioid-Related Overdose - Huntington, West Virginia, August 2016

This report, published January 27, 2017 by the Office of Epidemiology and Prevention Services with the West Virginia Department of Health & Human Resources, is an outbreak report developed in response to an opioid-related overdose incident that occured in Huntington, West Virginia on August 15, 2016.

May 24, 2017

Using Local Toxicology Data for Drug Overdose Mortality Surveillance

Although Marin County ranks as the healthiest county in California, it ranks poorly in substance abuse indicators, including drug overdose mortality.1 Death certificates do not always include specific detail on the substances involved in a drug overdose.2 This lack of specificity makes it difficult to identify public health issues related to specific prescription drugs in our community. We analyzed 2013 drug overdose death toxicology reports to determine if they could improve the description of drug overdose deaths in our community and to describe associated data characteristics.

August 22, 2017

Using Syndromic Surveillance Data to Monitor Endocarditis and Sepsis among Drug Users

Recreational drug use is a major problem in the United States and around the world. Specifically, drug abuse results in heavy use of emergency department (ED) services, and is a high financial burden to society and to the hospitals due to chronic ill health and multiple injection drug use complications. Intravenous drug users are at high risk of developing sepsis and endocarditis due to the use of a dirty or infected needle that is either shared with someone else or re-used.

August 26, 2017

Using Health Information Exchange to Improve Use of Prescription Monitoring Data

Washington State experienced a five-fold increase in deaths from unintentional drug overdoses between 1998 and 2014. The PMP collects data on controlled substances prescribed to patients and makes the data available to healthcare providers, giving providers another tool for patient care and safety. Optimal impact for the program depends on providers regularly accessing the information to review patients’ dispensing history.

March 14, 2017

Development of Syndrome Definitions for Acute Unintentional Drug and Heroin Overdose

Nationally, deaths due to opioid overdose have continually increased for the past 15 years . Deaths specifically related to heroin increased more than four-fold between 2002 and 2014. Hospital inpatient discharge data provide information on non-fatal overdoses, but include a significant lag in reporting time. Syndromic ED visit data provide near real-time identification of public health issues and can be leveraged to inform public health actions on the emerging threat of drug overdose.


May 27, 2017

Going Beyond Chief Complaints to Identify Opioid-Related Emergency Department Visits

Overdoses of heroin and prescription opioids are a growing cause of mortality in the United States. Deaths from opioids have contributed to a rise in the overall mortality rate of middle-aged white males during an era when other demographics are experiencing life expectancy gains. A successful public health intervention to reverse this mortality trend requires a detailed understanding of which populations are most affected and where those populations live.

July 06, 2017

Multidimensional Tensor Scan for Drug Overdose Surveillance

Drug overdoses are an increasingly serious problem in the United States and worldwide. The CDC estimates that 47,055 drug overdose deaths occurred in the United States in 2014, 61% of which involved opioids (including heroin, pain relievers such as oxycodone, and synthetics).1 Overdose deaths involving opioids increased 3-fold from 2000 to 2014.1 These statistics motivate public health to identify emerging trends in overdoses, including geographic, demographic, and behavioral patterns (e.g., which combinations of drugs are involved).

July 17, 2017

Better, Stronger, Faster: Making the Case for Adding Data Fields to Syndromic Surveillance, NJ 2015

NJDOH created a custom classification in EpiCenter to detect synthetic cannabinoid-related ED visits using chief complaint data. DOH staff included the keywords black magic, black mamba, cloud 9, cloud 10,incense, k2, legal high, pot potpourri, spice, synthetic marijuana, voodoo doll, wicked x, and zombie which were obtained from the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene. Staff also included the keywords, agitation, k-2, moon rocks, seizure, skunk, and yucatan to characterize the related event.

September 25, 2017

Approaches to Syndromic Case Definitions for Drug Overdose Surveillance

This focus of this webinar is to describe different syndromic surveillance approaches to drug overdose surveillance. Presenters will share how their case definitions were developed, stakeholders involved, intended audience and uses, as well as lessons learned.


R. Matt Gladden, PhD Behavioral Scientist Prescription Drug Overdose Surveillance Team Division of Unintentional Injury Prevention/CDC
Amy Ising, MS Program Director for NC Detect, North Carolina's statewide syndromic surveillance system


July 06, 2017


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Email: syndromic@cste.org


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