Leveraging City Data to Understand the Opioid Epidemic in Philadelphia


Philadelphia is in the midst of a drug epidemic that killed 702 Philadelphians in 2015, 907 in 2016, and is on trajectory to kill 1,200 in 2017. Opioids are involved in the majority of fatal overdoses, contributing to 80% of overdose deaths in 2016. In 2016, the age-adjusted death rate for opioid-involved overdoses was 40.4 deaths per 100,000 residents, up from 17.9 deaths per 100,000 residents in 2010. Despite the epidemiologic work accomplished to date, gaps in knowledge still exist, especially for vulnerable populations such as those with serious mental illness or those who were ever incarcerated, homeless, or within the juvenile justice system. Matching individuals who died of an overdose across city systems could provide insight into missed opportunities for interventions. Findings will help inform policy for those systems that serve clients at highest risk for overdose.


To match fatal overdose information across city data sources to understand which systems overdose decedents may have interacted with prior to their death

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Event/Publication Date: 
January, 2018

January 25, 2018

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National Syndromic
Surveillance Program


The National Syndromic Surveillance Program (NSSP) is a collaboration among states and public health jurisdictions that contribute data to the BioSense Platform, public health practitioners who use local syndromic surveillance systems, Center for Disease Control and Prevention programs, other federal agencies, partner organizations, hospitals, healthcare professionals, and academic institutions.

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