It is well known that the US currently faces an opioid epidemic and according to the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) since 1999 the rate of overdose death related to opioid, including both heroin and prescription drugs, has quadrupled. In addition to the negative health effects the epidemic has also had economic impacts on the health care system with nearly 55 billion dollars being spent a year on health and social cost related to prescription opioid abuse . Thus, one might see the importance in using geographic information system (GIS) to map out hotspots of opioid abuse and deaths. Today’s map of the day shows opioid death in Tennessee by county in 2015. From the map we can see certain counties have a higher rate of opioid deaths, such as, Cheatham, Dickson, Anderson, Knox, and Roane county. Interestingly, Campbell county has the highest rate of opioid death, yet the map shows the county to have no licensed alcohol and drug abuse counselors. From the map we can see a large portion of alcohol and drug abuse counselors are concentrated in Davidson, Shelby, Knox and Hamilton county. Maps like this allow public health works to see whether resources are easily accessible to those who need them.
Reference:  “Factsheet: The Opioid Epidemic by the Numbers.” Human Rights Documents Online (n.d.): n. pag. US Department of Health and Human Services. Web. 27 Apr. 2017.