When it comes to tackling the opioid crisis, timing is crucial. Unfortunately, traditional data sources are often too late and incomplete for timely intervention. With data arriving months or even years after overdose deaths and hospitalizations, creating effective, data-guided action plans using our current data sources is virtually impossible.
Wastewater monitoring bridges the critical gap between data and prevention, treatment, harm reduction, or recovery interventions. Public health teams typically rely on survey, emergency medical services (EMS), mortality, and hospitalization data to estimate substance use. However, these sources tend to undercount substance use in communities significantly. In contrast, wastewater data offers near real-time insights into a community’s drug use behaviors.
In this webinar, Biobot and The Steadman Group discussed wastewater data’s role in crafting a more effective, data-driven approach to combat the opioid epidemic and bolster public health. This session specifically focused on the power of wastewater data, its comparison to other data sources, and its integration into opioid abatement fund spending program planning and evaluation.
This webinar lays the foundation for recognizing the importance of wastewater data in comprehending community substance use, identifying available funding sources and resources for communities, exploring data source compatibility, and showcasing concrete examples of wastewater data application in community action.