In the process of reporting on the nationwide opioid crisis, there’s one common refrain that surfaces in conversations more than any other: “We aren’t going to arrest our way out of this problem.”

But, while there is overall consensus that the criminalization of drug use isn’t the right tactic to use, there is much less unity in identifying other approaches that state and local governments can take.

Richard Leadbeater, a state government industry manager at Esri, the Redlands, California-based geographic information systems software company has one idea: “To be honest, the best ammunition that public officials can embrace is storytelling.”

And, for Leadbeater, that storytelling comes in the form of data and maps.

– Quinn Libson
Staff Correspondent
Route Fifty

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Effective monitoring systems [PDMPs] will augment clinical judgment, provide evidence of misuse, and facilitate prescription of the most appropriate analgesic for the situation…The Emergency Department is regarded as the nation’s safety net…the last bastion of around-the-clock access to care … Unfortunately, some of the solutions to opioid misuse [limiting ED physicians to 3-day opioid prescriptions] preempts judgments from trained emergency medical providers.

American College of Physicians, Annals of Internal Medicine, 9 April 2013

You’re not only reducing the supply [of pain medications] for those who use them inappropriately, but also for those in need.

Bob Tillman – Director of Policy and AdvocacyAmerican Academy of Pain Management
Prescription Advisory Systems & Technology

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