Next: a meth map

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Monday, December 01, 2008
methpipe

When store employees ask for your zip code, they’re gathering data to map your travel and spending patterns so they can plan future store locations. Oregon State University toxicologist Daniel Sudakin has used essentially the same concept to get a better picture of Oregon’s meth problem. He tracked meth-related activity by incorporating data such as where the drug was made, where lab waste was found, and when overdose calls came into the state’s poison control center. For the first time, with the help of this new time/space information, a more meaningful picture of the meth epidemic has emerged, pinpointing which communities are hit hardest. The analysis found that on a per-capita basis, Umatilla County has the most meth-related activity.  “Some communities are disproportionably affected,” he says. “This will help target which communities will benefit most from intervention.”

ROBIN DOUSSARD


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