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CESAR to Expand Drug Emergency Monitoring Program Outside Maryland

By College of Behavioral and Social Sciences Staff

A new grant from the Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) will allow the Center for Substance Abuse Research (CESAR) to expand a drug overdose surveillance program to five hospitals outside Maryland.

The Emergency Department Drug Surveillance (EDDS) program has proven effective in identifying substances used by patients and providing guidance for local testing programs. EDDS enables hospitals to learn about trends in the drugs used by their emergency department patients and to update their test panels. EDDS serves multiple constituencies, including physicians, first responders, hospital administrators, researchers, and local public health and law enforcement officials.

“EDDS data can be used by hospitals to gain a fuller understanding of the drugs recently used by patients, update routine testing protocols, analyze how COVID-19 has affected drug-related emergency department visits, and more,” said CESAR Director Eric Wish, who serves as the project’s principal investigator.

In a recent pilot project funded by the MPowering the State Opioid Use Disorders Initiative, EDDS was established in seven Maryland hospitals, where it revealed that fentanyl was frequently being overlooked in drug screening.

Site selection is under way for the five new EDDS locations. Results from eventual implementation are expected in Summer 2021 and will be released on a CESAR-operated website and data dashboard.

Read the full news release on the College of Behavioral and Social Sciences’ website.

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