Spatial Distribution of Opioid Overdoses - Saginaw County, MI

Authors: Carter Eckhardt*, Saginaw Valley State University, Andrew J Miller, Saginaw Valley State University, John Brophy, Mobile Medical Response, Inc., Frederich Schulz, Saginaw Valley State University, Justin Schram, Saginaw Valley State University, Mackenzie Bethune, Saginaw Valley State University
Topics: Medical and Health Geography, Geographic Information Science and Systems
Keywords: Medical Geography, GIS, Spatial Analysis, Opioids
Session Type: Poster
Day: 4/4/2019
Start / End Time: 3:05 PM / 4:45 PM
Room: Lincoln 2, Marriott, Exhibition Level
Presentation File: No File Uploaded


As has been reported by local police and mental health officials to the Saginaw County Crime Prevention Council over the past few years, the Opioid epidemic has become a growing challenge to local safety. While anecdotal in nature, these warnings are underscored by Saginaw Police Department officers now carrying Narcan to combat accidental overdoses with unresponsive victims they encounter. Unfortunately, Saginaw is not alone in facing these challenges. As described by Rose et al. (2016), opioid related overdoses represent 61% of all drug overdoses in the United States, tripling in number from 1999-2014. Only in 2018 did President Trump declare the Opioid epidemic a national public health emergency. A previous project within our research group determined the spatial distribution of Opioid and Opioid-related crimes did not match the baseline patterns of crime in Saginaw County, MI (Bethune et al. 2018). Access to first responder/EMS data with proper IRB and HIPPA approval now permits us to determine the spatial distribution of Opioid overdoses. Using deidentified data geocoded to US Census Block Groups per DDACTS standards, we create an eight-year baseline for future statistical comparisons. Tests include Hot-Spot Analysis, Local Moran's I and Global Moran's I to determine the context and significance of any potential clustering of Opioid overdose patterns. This will enable law enforcement agencies to understand the potential spatial dynamics for Opioid overdoses to better facilitate resources for EMS response in our community.

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