How Virginia Communities are Confronting the Opioid Epidemic
The United States recorded record numbers of opioid related overdose deaths in 2017, and although that figure dropped slightly in 2018, around 130 Americans die each and every day from an opioid overdose. First came prescribed opioids, then came street opioids, and now there are synthetic opioids. It’s a battle that the US needs to be winning.
Some States are genuinely stepping up to the plate, though. In Virginia, a brand new data platform tool named the Framework for Addiction Analysis and Community Transformation (or FAACT for short) has been started to help local communities to understand the crisis better, and to find ways of dealing with the problem.
The FAACT Platform Aims to Collate as Much Information as Possible from All Appropriate Sources
The FAACT platform is a collaboration between two local government departments – Criminal Justice Services and Behavioral Health and Development. The platform has been put together by Qlarion, a company who create solutions for analyzing data for organizations in the public sector.
Numerous organizations in Virginia have long been collating data on opioids, including criminal activity, and the illegal use of drugs, but there has not been enough sharing of information, mainly because the information has been in a number of incompatible formats. The creation of FACCT hopes to change all that.
Despite Only Being Available for a Short Period, FAACT Has Already Proven to be Useful
Already the data has been used effectively to identify specific trends, such as common locations where opioid related offences commonly take place. In addition, the date has hinted that illicit opioid use is often accompanied by associated crimes, such as violent crime or burglaries.
By collating data on a state-wide level and presenting it in a manner that is easy to understand and by making the data available to anyone who deals with the effect of opioid related overdoes, it should be the case that all local agencies will be better armed to deal with all the issues that the opioid epidemic has caused.
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