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Combating Opioid Crisis

Andre Sayegh
Services rendered
Customised Solutions

Paterson, New Jersey has seen more than 1,700 annual opioid overdoses in recent years, and many residents experiencing opioid-use disorder struggle to access timely support.

Like many U.S cities struggling with an opioid epidemic, Paterson has made the issue a top priority and is working to:

  1. Develop data-informed strategies to provide near-real-time analysis of overdoses as they are experienced on the ground
  2. Increase residents’ awareness of medical services available for opioid addiction
  3. Inform individuals and local practitioners of updated science and data-driven approaches to treatment; those in need of treatment can better advocate for their needs and practitioners can better serve patients

Automated Reporting

Paterson Police Department and Delivery Associates Digital deployed an automated process reducing the time it took to generate summary reports from a matter of days to a matter of minutes.

The Paterson Police Department can now automatically run various summary reports, saving its staff time and resources.

The standardized dataset of overdose instances is shared with a coalition of partners within the city and county that are tackling the opioid crisis in a holistic way.

The tool allows the city to understand rates of repeated overdoses, and visualize this information for various different audiences and to inform interventions.

The data visualizations are shared with community stakeholders like local treatment providers, local policy makers, and clergy, as well as City leaders.

Solution features include

  1. High speed data automation
  2. Real-time reporting and analytics

Information Hub

Delivery Associates Digital and the City of Paterson’s Paterson Coalition for Opioid Assessment and Response (COAR) built an information hub, also known as the COAR hub.

The new digital tool aims to increase data transparency and residents’ awareness of:

1) the status of the opioid crisis in the City,

2) helpful resources on recovery pathways and harm reduction services from healthcare agencies.

In particular, COAR seeks to educate residents about the Medication- Assisted- Treatments available to opioid victims, its benefits and availability in the City.

The COAR hub visualizes data of suspected opioid overdoses in the City, as well as similar data obtained from Paterson EMS reports. These data are automatically updated in near-real time and support the City in drawing critical staff decisions. 

Solution features include

  1. Real-time automated data feed
  2. Heat mapping & advanced analytics to triage opioid cases
  3. Dynamic Content Management System
  4. Smart Search
  5. Multi-language support

COAR publishes policy decisions on a quarterly basis to the hub, and provides a channel to gather feedback from the public. The hub also invites organizations to offer support in combating the opioid epidemic.


The reports and analyses generated by the tool are discussed during monthly COAR meetings to inform interventions. The City found that 20 percent of all overdoses occur across a mere 2 percent of its area.

Based on this information, the City has focused on providing pro-Medically-Assisted-Treatment (MAT) outreach along corridors that have this outsized incidence rate. MAT can not only provide a pathway to more sustainable recovery, but certain types of MAT can eliminate the body’s possibility of overdose on other opiates, including fentanyl.

The City also changed their language and outreach strategies to encourage individuals to follow up on their medical check ups after an overdose, while maintaining HIPPA compliance.

On August 10th 2022, the COAR hub became the City’s first ever data sharing website that educates the public about the opioid epidemic in Paterson, and calls organizations to join in the fight against opioid addiction. It is now the source of truth to Paterson’s opioid epidemic and reduces misinformation on the City’s fight against it.

The data automation/cleaning done by the DA.Digital will be critical to quickly understand whether we will see a decrease in OD calls over time.

Andrea Ramalho
Senior Program Manager

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