Metro working to launch system that maps out overdoses in real time

Posted at 1:50 PM, Jan 06, 2020

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — The Metro Public Health Department hopes to launch a system that can map out overdoses and better analyze trends in Davidson County this year.

Metro Overdose Response Coordinator Trevor Henderson said ODMAP is a type of technology that can help the city focus resources on areas that are impacted by overdoses the most. ODMAP was created by High Intensity Drug Trafficking Areas (HIDTA), a Drug Enforcement Administration program that provides funding and resources to agencies to help battle drug trafficking.

First responders with the Nashville Fire Department can put information into a database every time there is a suspected overdose call. The data will include if the overdose call was fatal or non-fatal and if Narcan was used. Narcan is the brand name of Naloxone, an opioid overdose reversal nasal spray.

The data is color-coordinated and will not show personal information nor what specific drug was used since cases would still need to be confirmed by toxicology reports.

"The ODMAP system would allow us on any given day to look at what suspected overdose activity is going on and in what part of town and where," Henderson said. "It allows us to really focus in on where we can try and get better distribution of Narcan and training and education."

Henderson said logistics are still being worked out with the NFD. ODMAP is free but it will cost money to build a new system that allows information to be automatically entered into the system.

“Hopefully we get to see more of this in Tennessee because I think it will help,” Dan Gear, a resident in recovery told NewsChannel 5.

As someone who misused opiates for more than 30 years and completed a treatment program in 2016, Gear appreciates seeing the city use a system that better track overdoses. On top of his normal full-time job, Gear is also a case manager and counselor for Cumberland Heights.

“Some way to map this stuff out to figure out where is coming from and try to get the source I think is a big part of what we need to do,” he said.

The number of deadly drug overdoses in Nashville through September of 2019 surpassed the total number of deaths in 2018. In the first nine months of the year, there were at least 333 cases of deadly drug overdoses. There were 331 throughout all of 2018.

Metro is one of 20 organizations in Tennessee that have the program. Most cities using ODMAP are in west Tennessee.