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BJA FY 2022 Drug Data Research Center to Combat the Opioid Crisis

Award Information

Award #
Congressional District
Funding First Awarded
Total funding (to date)

Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2022, $3,536,058)

Southeast Regional Drug Data Research Center to Combat the American Opioid Crisis
The opioid crisis exerts a tremendous human and economic toll on America and shows no signs
of abating. As with many investigative and reporting efforts, government data surrounding this
issue are divided among numerous State and Federal agencies. Considering this structure,
attaining comprehensive knowledge and providing actionable insights is often difficult due to the
lack of information shared between organizations. This project will address an essential need to provide support
for a research center that can (1) consolidate data across groups; (2) provide recurring systematic
reports and “real-time” statistics to stakeholders; (3) serve as an avenue for multidisciplinary
research efforts that advance our knowledge of the opioid epidemic.

The University of Alabama’s (UA) Institute of Data and Analytics (IDA) propose leveraging
experiences and expertise from its past development and current management of a statewide drug
central data repository (i.e., https://druguse.alabama.gov/) for the establishment of a Southeast
Regional Drug Data Research Center (SR-DDRC) to combat the opioid crisis. The mission
of the center is to consolidate information and provide intelligence drawn from opioid data and
research efforts that will increase the efficiency and effectiveness for government organizations,
public leaders, and the scientific community. The SR-DDRC will serve as the central hub that
will links data, conducts analyses, and distributes results to departments of public health, law
enforcement agencies, and community stakeholders in US Department of Health and Human
Services and the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services (SAMHSA) region 4 (i.e., AL,
FL, GA, MS, NC, SC, TN). Deliverables of the Center include: i) establishing a regional drug
data center that facilitates web-based, real-time, multisector data dissemination across multiple
agencies across state lines, ii) utilizing regional drug data documents for policy and strategy
development; iii) issuing unsolicited reports, iv) creating a webpage to host a comprehensive
toolkit and other resources to support additional regions of the U.S. seeking to develop or
enhance a regional data center, v) coordinating an annual meeting where the SR-DDRC will host
interpersonal trainings and workshops for stakeholders interested in drug-related data findings
and analytic techniques, as well as the necessary steps to develop a regional data center, and vi)
facilitating knowledge transfer webinars where participants learn about evidence-based analytic
approaches that can provide critical insights related to drug misuse.

Date Created: September 27, 2022