Heroin & Other Illicit Drugs
NYC RxStat is a multi-agency public health and public safety collaboration initiated in 2012 with the collective goal of reducing overdose-related fatalities in New York City (NYC). The initiative has been strengthened significantly by the work of the Drug Intelligence Group (DIG), established in 2017 at the NYC Office of the Chief Medical Examiner (OCME). Leveraging existing resources from the New York/New Jersey High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area and New York Police Department, the team developed a system for reviewing and extracting never-before-captured data points from OCME files and reporting “suspected” overdoses to key RxStat partners within 36 hours of occurrence.
DIG also systematically examines the circumstances leading to individual overdose deaths in NYC. Post-mortem examinations conducted by medical examiners to investigate manner and cause of death are furthered by DIG’s experienced medicolegal investigator and two social workers, who contact decedents’ family and friends, and inquire about decedents’ drug use, medical history, mental health, incarceration, prior overdose events, and family knowledge of risk-reduction strategies. This centralized information, consisting of medical and psychosocial assessments, is used by DIG’s two epidemiologists to enhance analysis and reporting on suspected overdose fatality data. DIG accordingly notifies appropriate agencies about emerging threats and patterns in toxicology, as well as connects family and friends of overdose decedents to critical support services.
DIG’s 360 degree investigative approach of meticulously gathering a full picture of each decedent’s life history provides the RxStat Operations group with the most timely and detailed information possible. This, in turn, fosters further multi-agency collaboration and policy change incentivized to diminish fatalities resulting from the overdose epidemic.
This session is accredited for the following accreditation types: CME, CNE, CPE, APA, AAFP, AAHCPAD*, NAADAC*, ASWB*
*State and provincial regulatory boards have the final authority to determine whether an individual course may be accepted for continuing education credit.