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    Bernalillo County Announces New Digital Tool to Help Map the Opioid Epidemic

    08/09/2019
    1:33 PM

    The community within Bernalillo County has joined efforts to clean the community’s streets of needles and syringes, to make Bernalillo County a safe place to work and play. Since the advent of these efforts, over 13,000 needles have been reported and picked-up by various organizations including volunteers, city, and county workers.

    The county is taking an active role with collecting data surrounding these syringe efforts, by creating a live heat map of the affected areas. The county’s Planning & Development GIS (geographic information system) team created the app that allows members of the community to report needle pickup efforts and then records that data in a live heat map. The map will show trends and migration as the county continues to work toward ending the opioid epidemic.

    Bernalillo County Behavioral Health administrator, Dr. Sam Howarth, sees the importance of this tool, “As we continue to work towards the common goal of proper Sharps disposals, we are able to track this data and put it to use. This app will help us strategically map the migration of drug users and their patterns of travel while leaving their needles behind.”

    The app is available online by visiting www.bernco.gov/needles.

    “The Bernalillo County Department of Behavioral Health Services is excited to bring this community tool to our neighborhoods. As we continue working with the City of Albuquerque, Albuquerque Fire Rescue, Bernalillo County Fire Department, and other agencies, we are excited to announce this tool to the public, and look forward to the joint effort of safe needle disposal,” says Department of Behavioral Health Services Director Katrina Hotrum-Lopez.

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