Op-ed: Our best weapon against drug overdoses is good data

The Dallas Morning News screenshotScott Walters, Jeffrey Samet and Charles Knott, senior investigators on the HEALing Communities Study, wrote a column for The Dallas Morning News titled Our best weapon against drug overdoses is good data.

Here’s an excerpt:

The most recent data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention suggests that overdose deaths in the general U.S. population likely reached the deadliest tally yet, with at least 107,000 overdose deaths in 2021. It was the third year of record-breaking increases in fatal overdoses, and an increase of nearly 30% since 2019.

A reader who visits the CDC’s site might wonder why their most recent data is for November 2021. The data is, in effect, six months old. That makes it impossible to use timely data to inform a more effective community response to drug overdose trends.

Read the op-ed here.