SB-67 establishes the expansion of data sharing of overdose data from the California Emergency Medical Service Authority (CEMSA) to the overdose mapping application program known as ODMAP in order to effectively track trends in overdose drug usage.
Rates of fatal and non-fatal opioid overdoses have exponentially increased to crisis levels. In many parts of the country this crisis can be traced to an increase in illicit opioid use like fentanyl. In 2020 alone, California experienced nearly 4,000 deaths related to fentanyl overdose which is over 2/3rds of all opioid overdoses in the state. Easily producible and 100 times more potent than morphine, fentanyl has flooded our communities leading to a rise in overdoses.
Currently, each department and agency whether state, local, or federal uses their own program to track and report incident of overdoses. This complicated and diverse web of reporting leads to a lack of cohesion in information sharing and removes the ability of real-time pattern identification. The most common application used in California among first responders is CEMSA, with 130 participating agencies which have logged over 185,000 overdoses since 2017, including 20,000 fatal overdoses. However, there are emergency medical services agencies, coroners, and fire departments whose data is not uniformly shared.
In 2017, the Federal Government created an application called ODMAP to tie together the diverse reporting into one cohesive system. In order to facilitate the cohesion and not add additional work on first responders, ODMAP draws upon existing systems to auto populate information in their reports. With over 3000 local, state, and federal agencies currently participating in ODMAP across the country, including California’s largest county, LA County, this free program is helping local health officials to identify live patterns of overdoses and identify where to focus resources like education and intervention. ODMAP also has the added feature of being limited to only authorized personnel and scrubbing of all personal identifiable information, removing privacy concerns.
SB-67 will enroll all of California’s departments and agencies who are on the frontlines of the opioid epidemic into the free universal information sharing program known as ODMAP in order to effectively track and address live patterns of overdoses.