The Suquamish Police Department is the first agency in Washington State to implement a new digital application, designed to reduce deaths resulting from opioid overdose.
The ODMAP (Overdose Detection Mapping Application Program) assists public health, fire, emergency medical personnel and law enforcement by allowing them to track known and suspected overdoses in real time. The application allows public safety managers and health officials to “see” when bad batches of heroin, fentanyl or other dangerous opioids are leading to “spikes” of overdoses in a defined geographic area, and to take steps to prevent or mitigate the impacts and deaths in their communities.
“Opioids don’t just appear in Kitsap County- they come through Tacoma, Snohomish County, and Eastern Washington. If we know about a sudden spike in overdoses on the I-5 Corridor, we have the potential to anticipate a particularly lethal batch of opioids heading towards our streets,” Suquamish Police Chief Lasnier said.
The program, developed by the Washington D.C./Baltimore High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area, is provided to agencies free of charge and loads onto the cell phones of first responders within 2 or 3 minutes. Once live, the responder only has to confirm their general location, and push one button to report the type of overdose. No identifying information on the patient is captured, the data is stored on secure servers, and is only available to higher level public safety and health department administrators.
“This gives us a window of opportunity to get the word out about the increased risk, and save lives. As we said with naloxone; they can’t get treatment if they’re dead. With some of the newer types of opioids that are substantially more concentrated and dangerous, police officers, K-9’s, children and other innocent people have overdosed just from having the substances touch their skin. Those concentrated forms lead to more overdoses. Having knowledge of highly lethal doses mean we can also give officers warning to use exceptional precautions when dealing with suspicious materials,” Lasnier added.
In addition to spearheading use of the ODMAP system, the Suquamish Police were one of the first agencies in the State of Washington to implement the use of Naloxone, a life-saving drug that counteracts the effects of opioid overdose when administered in time. Suquamish officers have used the drug to save 9 lives so far.
Suquamish Police Chief Mike Lasnier is a Co-Chair of the Overdose Prevention Workgroup of the Olympic Community of Health 3 County Coordinated Opioid Response Project (3CCORP), representing Clallam, Jefferson and Kitsap Counties. He co-chairs the workgroup with Dr. Jean Riquelme. The objective of the group is to prevent deaths from opioid overdoses. Chief Lasnier and the Olympic Community of Health 3 County Coordinated Opioid Response Project will be working with Police, Fire, Emergency Medical and Public Health Staff to explore expanding the use of this system region wide and, hopefully, statewide.
“It’s free, secure and managed by our Federal partners. It’s also simple to use, and it saves lives. Why wouldn’t we use it?” Lasnier said.
For more information on the ODMAP application, visit http://www.hidta.org/odmap/