WSAW: USDA releases new interactive tool to track opioid crisis. “This week, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) launched a new tool that helps put the crisis in perspective at a county level. The tool was designed to help community leaders develop solutions for the opioid crisis, but it also provides an insightful context to understand the epidemic. The online tool overlays drug and opioid overdose death rates with socio-economic demographics by county across the nation. The data provided covers 2012 through 2016.”
The Verge: Instagram will send a pop-up about opioid addiction support if you search certain hashtags. “Instagram says people are using the platform’s hashtags to find addiction support and communities as well as illegal drugs. So, in response, the company is rolling out a pop-up today that’ll provide users with drug addiction resources if they search certain hashtags, like ‘opioid.'”
WSBT: New interactive map tracks Nalaxone use in Indiana. “The full scale of the opioid epidemic can be hard to imagine. There’s a new tool in Indiana to help visualize where its impacting communities the most. The Indiana Department of Homeland Security has released a heat map that shows where Naloxone has been administered in Indiana. You can even type in a specific address.”
TechCrunch: Facebook cracks down on opioid dealers after years of neglect . “Facebook’s role in the opioid crisis could become another scandal following yesterday’s release of harrowing new statistics from the Center for Disease Control. It estimated there were nearly 30,000 synthetic opioid overdose deaths in the U.S. in 2017, up from roughly 20,000 the year before. When recreational drugs like Xanax and OxyContin are adulterated with the more powerful synthetic opioid Fentanyl, the misdosage can prove fatal. Xanax, OxyContin and other pain killers are often bought online, with dealers promoting themselves on social media including Facebook.”
TechCrunch: Google slowly lifting ban on addiction center ads after adding vetting process . “Google will now allow ads to run on addiction-related keywords and phrases after a nearly year-long ban instituted to crack down on shady providers cashing in on vulnerable patients. A small group of providers vetted by a third party have been approved by the company to appear in results for searches like ‘help quitting pills’ or ‘meth addiction.'”
Vice: Drug Dealers on Facebook Are Targeting People With Addiction. “Last year, the US government celebrated the takedown of darknet (the underground and far less traceable version of the web) drug sales site AlphaBay. It was an effort the FBI described as ‘one of the most sophisticated and coordinated efforts to date on the part of law enforcement across the globe.’ Attorney General Jeff Sessions has pledged to include concentrated efforts related to online drug sales in his controversial, renewed war on drugs. But online drug sales are now springing up in a much less covert, and far more surprising, forum: Facebook.”
News Channel 9: Tennessee launches new website to help people find mental health resources fast. “Tennesseans have a new way to find mental health and substance abuse resources and information fast. The Tennessee Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services (TDMHSAS) unveiled its new Fast Facts website Thursday.” The site includes directories of various services… and the services covered do include substance abuse and addiction.