In tandem with White House efforts, the Health and Human Services Department is tapping data to better understand and subdue the mounting opioid epidemic. As awareness and attempts to slow overdoses swell, Big Data tools are set to play a large role in better tracking opioid prescriptions and enabling federal, state and local health agencies to more effectively allocate resources to communities in need.On March 19, the White House revealed its Initiative to Stop Opioid Abuse and Reduce Drug Supply and Demand, which seeks to address the driving forces of the opioid crisis through several means. The White House officially declared the epidemic a national emergency in October in response to rising death rates. Opioid abuse led to more than 63,000 deaths in 2016 a mounting number that is overwhelming public health agencies, healthcare organizations and states alike.

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