Our friends at Esri have shared with us that this coming August 31 will be International Overdose Awareness Day. If this topic is of interest to you, or perhaps near to your heart, you know by now that Esri and others have been actively sharing data and map resources that address this epidemic and offer insights and understanding of the urgency that exists in many cities and towns.
One tool that is especially impactful in dealing with this crisis is the National Naloxone Map. This map displays where to obtain Naloxone and has locations provided by Walgreens, Walmart, CVS and dozens of local governments in addition to a crowdsourced component which allows individuals to add clinic sites for Naloxone distribution as well. Naloxone is a powerful tool in the fight against opioid overdose as it binds to opioid receptors to reverse and block the effects of other opioids and quickly restores normal respiration to a person whose breathing has slowed or stopped as a result of overdose. Being able to easily access information on the location of, and requirements for obtaining, Naloxone can literally be the difference between life and death.
And many of you may already be familiar with this amazing webmap. New America Fellow and Esri solution engineer, Jeremiah Lindemann, who created the Celebrating Lost Loved Ones map – which allows friends and families stricken by loss due to opioids to memorialize their loved one on a map and share their stories.
Note, for communities that are interesting in building more local awareness as to the extent of this problem and also share the resources available to assist, be sure to have a look at the local government solutions that Esri has made available to assist you getting started (for example, see this effort in Ontario, CA). Opioid Awareness Maps includes a series of tasks to import existing incident data or geocode new incident data; aggregate overdose and death information; and share a series of reporting layers with key stakeholders.