Professor James Swartz Swartz has been working with the IDHS Division of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse (DASA) to help combat the growing opioid epidemic in Illinois.
The main focus of the project is to increase the availability of overdose reversal kits in the field, and to evaluate the effectiveness of the program. Swartz will analyze data collected from six highly-impacted Illinois counties to determine best practices. “Each site is almost like a unique laboratory, and we’ll be doing a careful examination of the data to see what practices are most effective for reducing overdoses and overdose-related deaths, as well as use of opiates,” he says.
He is also conducting an epidemiological analysis of data from a variety of sources. Swartz says, “I’m trying to collect data from as many sources as I can to help us understand how the State of Illinois can best direct its resources to reduce opioid overdoses and use.”
Because of the work he has done in this arena, Dr. Swartz recently served as a subject matter expert for an investigative news piece aired by NBC 5 Chicago about the opioid epidemic in Illinois.