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UHC Publishes Data Brief on Drug Overdose Deaths in Big Cities

Image of a person being lifted into the back of an ambulance.

September 7, 2022

The Big Cities Health Inventory (BCHI) is a data platform launched through a partnership with the Big Cities Health Coalition (BCHC) and the Urban Health Collaborative (UHC). The data platform includes over 100 metrics related to health and allows for comparison of metrics across BCHC member jurisdictions (currently 35 cities) which are among the country’s largest, most urban cities.

The platform’s data can be used to assess public health concerns. In response, the UHC created a data brief “Drug Overdose Deaths in Big Cities,” to illustrate how the data platform can be used. Between 2010 and 2020, drug overdose deaths in BCHC cities nearly tripled with the largest increase between 2019 and 2020. Recent increases in overdose deaths can be attributed to replacement of prescription opioids and heroin with highly potent illicit synthetic opioids such as fentanyl, as well as increases in polysubstance use (use of opioids along with stimulant drugs like cocaine and methamphetamine). The information in the data platform can be used to inform city health priorities and potential policy actions in reducing harms to health from drug use.

To learn more, view the data brief.

The Big Cities Health Inventory data platform is primarily funded by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention through a cooperative agreement with the National Association of County and City Health Officials. The views expressed in this brief do not necessarily represent the views of the funders.