The Effect of Opioid Event Distribution Patterns on Injury Prevention in Fulton County, GA Open Access

Giaquinto, Angela (Spring 2018)

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The opioid epidemic is currently devastating the United States and cases of overdose can be found across all states regardless of race and socioeconomic status. The Centers for Disease Control [CDC] recently released the first government account of nationwide drug deaths and reported 66,324 fatal overdoses in 2016. Accurate surveillance of overdoses, both fatal and non-fatal, could be important to prevention measures. Furthermore, geospatial analysis can be used to understand risk factors and aid in targeted injury prevention to help communities and areas experiencing high rates of overdoses. Accurate surveillance should be a large priority in understanding the opioid epidemic. Current methods of surveillance vary in success with no gold standard and are limited by resources available and information that can be collected. These limitations culminate in case detection error and underreporting. Our study utilizes three created overdose distributions in Fulton County, GA to simulate how various distributions and clustering of events would impact future injury prevention strategies. Distributions are examined in relation to current opioid services such as emergency rooms, rehabilitation centers, and medication-assisted opioid treatment. Our results show that within the historical distribution 73.38% of cases occur within 3 miles of an opioid service. This would influence injury prevention programs to be targeted in areas that already have existing infrastructure and programs. The focus would then be on ensuring these services are reaching out to their communities. The hypothesized distribution resulted in cases moving away from opioid services with 60.39% of cases occurring 3 or more miles away. Injury prevention services and programs would need to be focused in the northern suburbs of Fulton County.

Table of Contents


BACKGROUND                                                                                            1

SURVEILLANCE                                                                                          7

GEOSPATIAL ANALYSIS                                                                           8

INJURY PREVENTION & OPIOIDS                                                         9

METHODS                                                                                                     11

RESULTS                                                                                                       15

DISCUSSION                                                                                                 17

REFERENCES                                                                                               22

FIGURES                                                                                                       26



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