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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The abuse of opioid pain medication has a devastating impact on public health and safety in this country, killing 46 people every day… Prescription Drug poisoning deaths – now over 30,000/yr – outnumber deaths from motor vehicle crashes.

National Center for Health Statistics/CDC

In 2012, both New York and Tennessee required prescribers to check their state’s PDMP before prescribing painkillers.

The results one year later:
New York realized a 75% drop and Tennessee a 36% drop in patients who were seeing multiple prescribers to obtain the same drugs.

PDMP [National] Center of Excellence at Brandeis U, 2014

David is Prescription Advisory’s Chief Marketing Officer. Software startups are his passion.

He also serves as the Director of Startup Grind Princeton and a mentor for the Princeton University eLab.

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