Ballston Spa, NY – Saratoga County officials today unveiled a comprehensive, near real-time substance use surveillance dashboard that will help the county in its education, prevention, treatment, and response efforts in combatting the opioid epidemic.
Saratoga County Board of Supervisors Chairman Theodore T. Kusnierz, Jr. said, “While Saratoga County has made great progress in our fight against the scourge of opioids in our county, substance use is still a problem in our communities. With this dashboard our professionals in public health, mental health, and law enforcement and our community partners will have the data they need to provide comprehensive prevention, education, treatment, and response services to our residents.”
Saratoga County Department of Health epidemiologists leverage data from six primary sources that originate across multiple disciplines (law enforcement, health care, mental health, and public health) to provide a comprehensive picture of the burden of substance use in the county. Further, the standardized approach allows for the timely identification of concerning patterns, such as a spike in a limited geographic area over a defined period of time.
Current data sources include:
• High Intensity Drug Trafficking Overdose Detection and Mapping Application Program (ODMAP) -(data include reporting from SCSO, NYSP, and Saratoga Springs Police Dept)
• New York State Electronic Syndromic Surveillance System (Emergency Departments)
• Emergency Medical Services (call data)
• Saratoga County Coroner’s Office (toxicology reports)
• OASAS Treatment Admission rates
• NYSDOH Bureau of Narcotic Enforcement
Supervisor Phil Barrett (Clifton Park), Chair of the Saratoga County Board of Supervisors Health and Human Services Committee said, “The opioid epidemic has devastated communities throughout the U.S. and like national and state trends, heroin and fentanyl continue to be key drivers of overdose deaths in Saratoga County. This dashboard will provide critical information for the County to implement effective strategies and initiatives to mitigate the effects of the opioid epidemic in our communities and the Health and Human Services Committee remains focused on supporting our county departments in these efforts.”
Multiple departments across the County will benefit from this data including Department of Health, Mental Health and Addiction Services, and the Sheriff’s Office. The data will be especially helpful in identify high burden areas and to track overdose ‘hot spots’ to quickly focus on peer outreach, naloxone placement/distribution, and trainings throughout the county. This data will also be used to monitor trends over time and evaluate the impact of prevention and treatment programs such as: Jail MAT Program, Second Chance Program, and Naloxone distribution and administration in the County.
Saratoga County is also providing this public dashboard to assist healthcare organizations, first responders, community organizations, municipalities, and schools in their education, prevention, treatment and response efforts. Further, the dashboard provides residents with resources for mental health and substance use prevention and treatment.
Healthcare, Mental Health organizations, First Responders, Law Enforcement can use the dashboard to track frequency of overdoses and trends to help identify treatment and resource gaps and to identify where education and training and intervention efforts are needed.
Community Organizations, such as the Prevention Council can use this data in their prevention classroom lessons and to help schools in their outreach to parents and staff. Community and Faith-based organizations may also use this data when seeking funding opportunities.
This data can help municipalities at all levels with rapid response efforts in the event there is a spike identified in a locality.
Schools, colleges, and universities can utilize data from the dashboard to curate messaging for students and staff around substance use disorders.
County residents can find resources for both mental health and substance use prevention and treatment & for awareness on the dashboard.
To view the Surveillance Use Dashboard go to Savealifeto.day or visit our county website at www.saratogacountyny.gov and click on the Department of Health webpage.