Saratoga County officials have been determined to find a way to address and combat the opioid epidemic in Upstate New York. On February 7, 2023, the Saratoga County Department of Health launched a tool called the Substance Use Surveillance Dashboard to help enhance the county’s opioid education, prevention, treatment, and response efforts.
The near real-time resource consists of an easy-to-navigate dashboard that houses informative data for Saratoga County professionals in law enforcement, public health, and mental health, as well as community partners who focus on substance use support services.
From Vision to Reality: Building the Substance Use Surveillance Dashboard
Blue Raster worked with epidemiologists from the Saratoga County Department of Health to design and configure the dashboard. Through a series of learning sessions, our team took Saratoga County’s vision and visualization ideas and brought them to life. Built on the ArcGIS Platform, we utilized Python scripts to update the dashboard’s key metrics for overdoses—shown through various graphs, charts, and a map by zip code. The dashboard also displays a series of charts and tables illustrating the epidemic over the years and through demographic breakdowns.
The Powerful Impact of GIS
At Blue Raster, we introduce federal, state, and local government clients, as well as global organizations, to the power of maps and GIS products as a way to respond to some of the largest health issues we face today. Saratoga County’s Substance Use Surveillance Dashboard is now another resource for local officials across multiple departments to use to educate and prevent further opioid use, provide treatment, and respond to overdoses with real-time knowledge.
“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.”
- Supervisor Phil Barrett (Clifton Park), Chair of the Saratoga County Board of Supervisors Health and Human Services Committee
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