Arkansas group to start opioid-deaths state database

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) — An Arkansas nonprofit plans to develop an online database of opioid-related overdoses in the state.

Arkansas Drug Director Kirk Lane said Wednesday the Arkansas Foundation for Medical Care is spearheading the project. He noted the database will give policymakers accurate information they can use for grants and prevention efforts.

The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette reports the Justice Department awarded the state a nearly $1 million grant to fund the project.

It's expected the public database will be ready for use within six months. Gina Redford, the foundation's analytics manager, says the database will only include information on overdoses involving opioids.

Opioids include prescription painkillers such as oxycodone and fentanyl along with heroin.

The Centers for Disease Control data released Wednesday shows Arkansas had at least 433 fatal drug overdoses in 2018.

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Information from: Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, http://www.arkansasonline.com