Campus will share data with the national program that tracks overdose trends

University of Colorado Boulder campus. (Photo courtesy of the University of Colorado Boulder)

On September 20, the University of Colorado Boulder announced that it will participate in the Overdose Detection Mapping Application Program (ODMAP), a system designed to track drug overdoses in real time across the country.

The University Police Department (CUPD) signed an engagement agreement with the program, agreeing to share local drug overdose information with the program in exchange for viewing overdose data nationwide and receiving customized reports and alerts on overdose trends.

“CUPD looks to be a proactive partner in this effort to reduce harm and better respond to drug overdoses in our community,” CUPD Chief Doreen Jokerst said in a statement published in CU Boulder Today.

The announcement comes nearly a month after National Fentanyl Awareness Day and after community members expressed concern with High overdoses associated with fentanyl affecting the campus community.

The goal of ODMAP, according to its website, is to “mobilize a coherent and cooperative response” to overdose. The software collects and provides data with the location, date and time of an overdose as well as the type of medication included. ODMAP does not collect personal health or any identifying information.

The system relies on a web interface that first responders can access from their mobile devices to enter information about drug-related events, including whether the overdose was fatal and if the drug was administered.

The data is intended to allow local officials to respond more quickly and appropriately to surges or spikes in overdose events in a particular geographic location.

An alert is sent to agencies if the total overdose in an area exceeds a predetermined amount within a 24-hour period. This can act as an “early warning” for nearby jurisdictions, allowing officials to anticipate a spike in overdoses and prepare accordingly.

“This agreement adds to our partnerships that advance the public safety of both CU and the broader community,” said Dan Jones, CU Boulder Associate Vice President of Integrity, Safety and Compliance, in a CU Boulder Today article.

ODMAP was developed in 2017 to help tackle the opioid epidemic. The software now captures data in all 50 states, Washington, D.C. and Puerto Rico. it’s over 28,000 users nationwide as of 2021.

CUPD is involved in the project along with many other agencies in Boulder County, including the Boulder Police Department, Boulder County Public Health, the Boulder County Sheriff’s Office, and law enforcement from neighboring municipalities.

Contact CU freelance writer Celia Frazier at celia.frazier@colorado.edu.

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