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The Electronic Surveillance System for the Early Notification of Community-Based Epidemics (ESSENCE) is a statewide syndromic surveillance system that is used by the Indiana Department of Health (IDOH) to analyze emergency department data in near real time. ESSENCE has traditionally been used to identify communicable disease outbreaks such as meningitis clusters, hepatitis A, hepatitis B, mumps, zika and COVID-19.

The Office of Data and Analytics (ODA) monitors ESSENCE daily to identify emerging overdose trends. IDOH utilizes a set of standard overdose queries developed by the CDC and are routinely updated to improve sensitivity and specificity of all overdose data collected from hospital facilities. When the case definition for an overdose outbreak or cluster has been met within ESSENCE, IDOH alerts the corresponding local health department of potential increased drug overdose activity in their area. LHDs play a leading role in responding to overdose outbreaks and spikes through leveraging community partners, mobilizing outreach initiatives, and establishing linkage to care.

Note: Overdose cases in ESSENCE are always considered ‘suspected overdoses’ as opposed to ‘confirmed’ because false positives may be collected, or not true overdoses, may be detected. In addition, ED visits rely only on the patient exhibiting or reporting clinical signs/symptoms of poisoning/overdose but have not been validated with laboratory testing.

If you are a member of a reporting hospital facility or a local health department employee, you may sign up for an ESSENCE account by contacting Shelby Nierman, Overdose Surveillance Systems Epidemiologist, at

Indiana Drug Overdose Dashboard

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National Drug Overdose Data

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Indiana Overdose Data Reports and Briefs

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Overdose Spike Response Toolkit

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  • Data Requests

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    The Division of Trauma and Injury Prevention has data for the Indiana Violent Death Reporting System (NVDRS) as well as hospital inpatient, hospital outpatient and mortality data.

    Non-fatal and fatal overdose numbers by year and county are publicly available and do not require a data request. They can be found on our Overdose Dashboard here.

    If you are interested in de-identified, statewide data, fill out the division data request form and return it to the IDOH Division of Trauma and Injury Prevention.

    If you are interested in identifiable data, you must fill out both the division and agency data request forms. If you are interested in patient-level data or variables that could lead to individual identification, it will need administrative approval. Please note that mortality data may be released with just the division data request form. These are the forms to submit to the Division of Trauma and Injury Prevention:

    All completed forms may be e-mailed to

    Our goal is to send data requests within 14 business days from the time your request is received and processed. Please note that identifiable requests will be reviewed by the Data Release Committee which meets every two weeks.

  • Other Data Sources

    Indiana Data Sources

    Indiana State Epidemiological Profile Dashboards

    • A dashboard provided through the Family and Social Services Administration's Division of Mental Health and Addiction with information compiled by the Indiana State Epidemiological Outcomes Workgroup. There are six dashboards available through this system with the following focuses - Alcohol, Opioids, Tobacco, Stimulants, Marijuana, and Mental Health.

    NextLevel Recovery Data Dashboard

    • A dashboard provided through NextLevel Recovery that holds the same information as the Indiana Drug Overdose Dashboard, with additional topics included. The additional topics are Naloxone Administrations, Drug-related Arrests and Drug-related Re-arrests.

    Management Performance Data Hub

    • The Indiana Data Hub provided by the Indiana Management Performance Hub is home for actionable data covering a variety of subject matter areas within Indiana State Government. This data is housed securely, de-identified, and published in a manner that promotes analysis, collaboration, and innovation. Data can be viewed by topic or by providing organization. Examples of datasets available are Opioid Treatment Program data and Drug Submissions to the Indiana State Lab.
      • Also available: COVID-19, Education, Environmental and Regulatory Services, General Government & Citizen Services, Government Finance,  Health and Human Services, Public Safety, and Workforce & Economic Development.
      • Over 19 Organizations provide data to the hub – Indiana 211, DCS, DOC, DOE, BMV, FSSA

    CDC Data Sources


    • WONDER is an easy-to-use, menu-driven system that makes the information resources of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) available to public health professionals and the public at large. It provides access to a wide array of public health information.
      • Data is broken into the following categories: Chronic Conditions, Communicable Disease, Environmental Health, Health Practice and Prevention, Injury Prevention, National Notifiable Conditions, Occupational Health, and Reference Data.


    • CDC’s WISQARS is an interactive, online database that provides fatal and nonfatal injury, violent death, and cost of injury data. Researchers, the media, public health professionals, and the public can use WISQARS data to learn more about the public health and economic burden associated with unintentional and violence-related injury in the United States.
      • Data is broken into the following categories: Fatal Injury & Violence Data, Nonfatal Injury Data, Leading Causes of Death & Injury and Cost of Injury.

    CDC Drug Overdose Surveillance and Epidemiology Dashboard: Nonfatal Overdose Data

    • The nonfatal drug overdose data on this dashboard come from CDC’s Drug Overdose Surveillance and Epidemiology (DOSE) system, which captures electronic health record information in syndromic surveillance systems. This dashboard represents the most up-to-date data that the CDC’s DOSE system has available and is updated shortly after new data are made available each month. As of 2019, 47 states and the District of Columbia share data with DOSE. States that do not share data are labeled “data not available” or “unfunded state.”

    State Unintentional Drug Overdose Reporting System Dashboard: Fatal Overdose Data

    • The drug overdose death data presented on this dashboard comes from the CDC’s State Unintentional Drug Overdose Reporting System (SUDORS). SUDORS provides comprehensive data on unintentional and undetermined intent drug overdose deaths collected from death certificates and medical examiner/coroner reports (including scene findings, autopsy reports, and full postmortem toxicology findings). Data is provided by states that are involved in the CDC’s Overdose Data to Action grant. As of 2019, 47 states and the District of Columbia are represented in the dashboard.

    National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS) Data Visualization Gallery

    • The Visualization Gallery provides Data Dashboard for the following topics: Mortality, Natality and Provisional Data. There are subtopics represented in each section, including drug overdoses and drug overdose deaths.

    NCHS National Vital Statistics System

    • The Vital Statistics System provides the most complete data on births and deaths in the United States, with sections dedicated to Drug Overdose deaths and Maternal Mortality.

    Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance System (YRBSS)

    • The Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance System (YRBSS) monitors six categories of health-related behaviors that contribute to the leading causes of death and disability among youth and adults, including— Behaviors that contribute to unintentional injuries and violence; Sexual behaviors related to unintended pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases, including HIV infection; Alcohol and other drug use; Tobacco use; Unhealthy dietary behaviors; Inadequate physical activity. YRBSS also measures the prevalence of obesity and asthma and other health-related behaviors plus sexual identity and sex of sexual contacts.

    Other Data Sources

    Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project

    • The Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project (HCUP) is a family of healthcare databases and related software tools and products developed through a Federal-State-Industry partnership and sponsored by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ). HCUP databases bring together the data collection efforts of State data organizations, hospital associations, private data organizations, and the Federal government to create a national information resource of encounter-level healthcare data.
    • The following database are available through HCUP:
      • The National (Nationwide) Inpatient Sample (NIS)
      • The Kids’ Inpatient Database (KID)
      • Nationwide Ambulatory Surgery Sample (NASS)
      • The Nationwide Emergency Department Sample (NEDS)
      • The Nationwide Readmissions Database (NRD)
      • The State Inpatient Databases (SID)
      • The State Ambulatory Surgery and Services Databases (SASD)
      • The State Emergency Department Databases (SEDD)

    The National Forensic Laboratory Information System

    • The National Forensic Laboratory Information System (NFLIS) is a program of the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), Diversion Control Division. As the most mature data system, the NFLIS-Drug component systematically collects drug identification results and associated information from drug cases submitted to and analyzed by Federal, State, and local forensic laboratories. These laboratories analyze controlled and noncontrolled substances secured in law enforcement operations across the country, making NFLIS-Drug an important resource in monitoring illicit drug use and trafficking, including the diversion of legally manufactured pharmaceuticals into illegal markets. NFLIS-Drug includes information on the specific substance and the characteristics of drug evidence, such as purity, quantity, and drugs reported in the same case. These data are used to support drug scheduling decisions and inform drug policy and drug enforcement initiatives nationally and in local communities around the country.
    • The program consists of three components that complement each other to provide a holistic picture of the drugs analyzed by the U.S. forensic community.
      • NFLIS-DRUG
      • NFLIS-TOX
      • NFLIS-MEC

    The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Data Archive

    • The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Data Archive (SAMHDA) is a site where researchers can find data set files to conduct analyses. SAMHSA collects data through multiple sources and surveys and provides access to public-use data files and documentation to support a better understanding of mental illness and substance use disorders in America.
    • Data sources available on the site are as follows:
      • Drug Abuse Warning Network
      • National Survey on Drug Use and health
      • Mental Health Client-Level Data
      • Treatment Episode Data Set: Admissions
      • Treatment Episode Data Set: Discharges
      • National Mental Health Services Survey
      • National Survey of Substance Abuse Treatment Services

    The State and National Overdose Web

    • The State and National Overdose Web (SNOW) is an interactive dashboard directed by National Drug Early Warning system. SNOW contains information regarding drug-related outcomes in participating NDEWS sentinel sites across the United States. SNOW is publicly available and is to be used solely for informational purposes.
      • Dashboards available: HIDTA Drug Seizures, RADARS (Poison Control) Selected Drug Indicators, Wastewater analysis: Fentanyl Consumption, and State Dashboards.

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    Contact Information:

    Allison Lake
    Drug Overdose Prevention Epidemiologist, Division of Trauma and Injury Prevention