Big Data to Lead Fight On Addiction Epidemic

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), more than 70,630 Americans died in 2019 from a drug overdose. In 2018, the US Department of Health and Human Services Office Inspector General (OIG) released a report showing more than 71,000 Medicare beneficiaries are at extremely high risk of opioid misuse or overdose. It is possible to fight the drug epidemic with data analytics. Learn how data analytics can help save lives and overcome the opioid addiction epidemic in the United States. 

The Addiction Epidemic in the U.S.

Opioids and other substance addictions have been an issue for many years, though addiction statistics have been increasing steadily. In fact, there were 81,000 recorded deaths in the U.S. from May 2019 to May 2020. This marks the highest number of overdose deaths to ever be recorded within a year’s time. Further data provided by the CDC and the OIG has shown that the addiction epidemic has impacted lives in many ways: 

The Framework for Addiction Analytics and Community Transformation (FAACT) of the Commonwealth of Virginia has also conducted studies that show alarming statistics regarding the addiction epidemic among Americans: 

 

  • There is a direct correlation between criminal activity and drug use. For example, one community showed a strong link between cocaine use and increased violent crimes. Another community showed that heroin was immediately connected to an increase in burglaries. 
  • There is a definite correlation between addiction and age. Those who became addicted to less harmful drugs at an early age are proven to generally move to more serious drugs, including opioids, heroin and other narcotics.  

How COVID-19 has Impacted the Addiction Epidemic

There is no denying that the COVID-19 pandemic has contributed to the rise of addictions and overdoses. Reports from the CDC show that the risk for unprescribed fentanyl drug test positivity has increased more than 50% since the pandemic began. 

The CDC reports that many states all over the country have increased mortality rates linked to opioid overdoses since the start of the pandemic. In 2019, the total number of opioid overdoses was 70,630. In 2020, that number skyrocketed to 93,331.

As Americans struggle with the “twindemic” that is addiction and the COVID-19 pandemic, there have been a growing number of people turning to substance abuse as a way to cope with stay-at-home orders and a general sense of uncertainty. The ever-changing circumstances in conjunction with quarantine have led to substance abuse cases rising. 

The CDC also notes that those who struggle with opioid and drug addiction are more likely to get severely ill if they contract COVID-19. That being said, drug addiction poses both a risk to people’s health from side effects and a weakened immune system. 

Challenges to Drug Investigations

The ever-rising addiction epidemic has been notoriously complicated for state and local governments to combat. However, the CDC has provided five guidelines that can help prevent the misuse of opioids and even overdoses. These guidelines include: 

  • Conducting surveillance and research.
  • Building state, local and tribal capacity.
  • Supporting providers, healthcare systems, and payers.
  • Empowering consumers to make safe choices.
  • Partnering with public safety.

While those guidelines may seem simple enough, state and local governments are still met with limited resources and an addiction epidemic that only seems to grow. Having a set of guidelines is not enough. In order to properly combat the epidemic, state and local governments have to be able to:

  • Uncover early signs of addiction by identifying patients at risk.
  • Anticipating and deterring drug trafficking by identifying suspicious sources.
  • Coordinating treatment plans by educating both patients and physicians so they can make better prescription choices.

How Data Analytics Is Changing the Game

Data analytics is helping fight the addiction epidemic on multiple levels. Thanks to data analytics, investigators can now use proven methodologies and technologies to help combat the opioid crisis. Without data analytics, the five guidelines outlined by the CDC to prevent opioid misuse and overdose are less efficient. By integrating health law enforcement with healthcare data, data analytics can help with the targeting and allocation of valuable resources where they are needed most. 

Agencies are now able to:

  • Identify at-risk patients and prescribers that could potentially be enabling opioid abuse.
  • Study fill rates of pharmacies to determine if they coincide with doctor’s visits.
  • Analyze how prescription substances are able to transfer among groups of people. 

Web-based narcotics investigation software, such as those provided by Kaseware, can help fight the addiction epidemic through the management of operations, records, evidence, and cases all in one place. 

How Kaseware Is Contributing to the Fight Against the Addiction Crisis

The trafficking of opioids and other narcotics relies heavily on discreet communication. In most cases, these communications take place on social media platforms and even on the dark web. Fortunately, Kaseware has developed a web-based narcotics investigation software to help with investigations more easily and efficiently. 

Developed by former FBI special agents, our street-proven narcotics investigation tools have won numerous awards for helping government agencies and officials face the addiction epidemic head-on. This crucial piece of Kaseware software features:

  • Data sharing to collaborate internally and share information in real-time.
  • Intelligence centralization to automate geospatial analytics, timelines and link analysis between sources with ease.
  • Record input for the easy transfer of important documents during investigations directly within the database.
  • Information management to assist with dealing with informants.
  • Easy connections for those involved during investigations.

Kaseware provides a premium narcotics investigation platform designed by federal agents that helps get one step closer to defeating the addiction epidemic.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), more than 70,630 Americans died in 2019 from a drug overdose. In 2018, the US Department of Health and Human Services Office Inspector General (OIG) released a report showing more than 71,000 Medicare beneficiaries are at extremely high risk of opioid misuse or overdose. It is possible to fight the drug epidemic with data analytics. Learn how data analytics can help save lives and overcome the opioid addiction epidemic in the United States. 

The Addiction Epidemic in the U.S.

Opioids and other substance addictions have been an issue for many years, though addiction statistics have been increasing steadily. In fact, there were 81,000 recorded deaths in the U.S. from May 2019 to May 2020. This marks the highest number of overdose deaths to ever be recorded within a year’s time. Further data provided by the CDC and the OIG has shown that the addiction epidemic has impacted lives in many ways: 

The Framework for Addiction Analytics and Community Transformation (FAACT) of the Commonwealth of Virginia has also conducted studies that show alarming statistics regarding the addiction epidemic among Americans: 

 

  • There is a direct correlation between criminal activity and drug use. For example, one community showed a strong link between cocaine use and increased violent crimes. Another community showed that heroin was immediately connected to an increase in burglaries. 
  • There is a definite correlation between addiction and age. Those who became addicted to less harmful drugs at an early age are proven to generally move to more serious drugs, including opioids, heroin and other narcotics.  

Join Kaseware in the Fight Against the Opioid Crisis

We create software to enhance communication, organize procedures and solve investigations. We offer nearly every feature your investigative team could need in one convenient package. Our streamlined design lets you work quickly and focus on your project and the task at hand. 

Kaseware can help you fight back against the opioid crisis. For more information about Kaseware, contact us to schedule a free demo today. 

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