Hopkins nurse hopes map can save lives for battling opioid addiction

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From a laptop in Hopkins, Sidney Brown types in 911 overdose calls and data sent to her on social media to create a map of opioid incidents across the Twin Cities.

"I like the idea of making it visible, I think people have a hard time understanding numbers," Brown said. "What I want those 'dots' to tell is that this is not getting better."

Brown has geocoded more than 1,500 calls from 2018 and 2019 that found incidents in communities across the metro.

"I feel looking at a map and seeing all these dots and saying, 'Wow, that's a block away from me," Brown said.

Putting a face to the opioid epidemic

The goal of the project is to help health officials across the Twin Cities learn more through data visualization about what certain neighborhoods are experiencing opioid incidents.

"I'd' really like to see a shift to, 'Let's help people before they get to that crisis and prevent that crisis from happening,'" Brown said.

Brown tells 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS that she's met with Minnesota health officials to share some of her research.

Minnesota's Department of Health developed a data portal and provided resources for those battling opioid addiction.

To learn more about resources the state has to help those dealing with opioids, click here.