In the summer of 2016, drug overdose deaths in Baltimore were exploding and health commissioner Dr. Leana Wen told federal Drug Enforcement Administration officials the city needed real-time data to better manage its public health response.
Four months later, the DEA’s Washington/Baltimore High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (HIDTA) team had developed a smart phone application that could be used by first responders to record the time and location of overdoses and transmit the information to a regional mapping database.
Today, that tool, known as ODMAP, is used by more than 250 law enforcement, first responder and public health agencies in 27 states.
In an opioid overdose epidemic that killed more than 53,000 Americans last year and shows no signs of relenting, nearly every community in the nation is fortifying its public health, emergency medical and law enforcement response. But with limited resources, it’s essential to target efforts where they are needed most, said Washington/Baltimore HIDTA deputy director Jeff Beeson.