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Is it an epidemic or a crisis?  Either term likely applies.   Drug overdoses are now the leading cause of accidental death in the United States and heroin overdoses account for more than half of those deaths.  According to the CDC 44 people die everyday.

Governors, Mayors and County Managers across the US are meeting to discuss the problem and look for solutions.  President Obama has proposed $1.1B in his budget to combat the issue.

Here are two RouteFifty articles worth reading on the subject:

Lack of Funding Limits County Officials’Ability to Fight Substance Abuse Crisis

Governors, County Leaders Gather in D.C.for 2016 Winter Meetings

The State of Indiana is also trying to tackle the problem.  They continue to utilize their SAP HANA Platform and Predictive Analytics to develop more use cases.  You may be familiar with the Infant Mortality Use case from 2015.  Now the focus is on the Opiate Epidemic.

An executive order was created to focus on the problem. The State of Indiana’s Drug crisis tears apart families and imposes an overwhelming burden on the medical community, social services, and the State as a whole. From 1999 to 2009, Indiana saw a 500% increase in the rate of drug overdose deaths. Governor Mike Pence is committed to reversing this dangerous trend of drug abuse. The Management and Performance Hub (MPH) program has developed a comprehensive, enterprise-wide, data-driven management system to help gain insight into the Drug Abuse crisis.

Indiana MPH staff are tackling the issue using crime lab drug data from across the state from to see new correlations in drug use over time and find insight into crime. The MPH uses the SAP® HANA platform together with SAP Predictive Analytics® software to gain a 360-degree view of the problem and approach it in new and innovative ways. By quickly aggregating and analyzing data, the state is able to visualize the problem and influence change that will save Hoosier lives.

GovLoop recently wrote a blog about the effort – and shows how using data and visual analytics can start to make a difference:  

https://www.govloop.com/fighting-the-opioid-epidemic/

Indiana can see things now that they could not see before utilizing the data.  They have found some counties that don’t have enough close by facilities to help with recovery, and they also were able to correlate high level of drug store robberies surrounding the high use counties.  Indiana is just starting the journey to see a better picture of the problem.  From this they will propose policy and budget proposals on how to combat the crisis.  Let us know if you want to learn more or if you want to know how to utilize SAP HANA and SAP Predictive Analytics as a platform for your government organization.

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Are opiates a problem in your community?  How will you  address this or other issues? I would love to hear your thoughts on how you are using technology to make a difference.

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