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STAMPS: surveillance, trends and mapping of opioid seizures: Allegheny County, Pennsylvania

Creppage, Kathleen (2018) STAMPS: surveillance, trends and mapping of opioid seizures: Allegheny County, Pennsylvania. Doctoral Dissertation, University of Pittsburgh. (Unpublished)

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The rapid rise of heroin and fentanyl over the past few years has become a troubling and overwhelming public health issue. Mortality from drug-related overdose has surpassed other historically leading causes of death, such as unintentional motor-vehicle accidents. Heroin and non-prescription fentanyl have become associated with increases in opioid mortality, particularly in the Northeastern United States. However, epidemiologic studies and standard surveillance data systems do not adequately capture different combinations of illicit drugs and emerging drug threats. Stamp bags, which are small wax packets typically used to sell heroin, are one type of drug evidence that can be used to evaluate drug patterns on the street.
The purpose of this dissertation is to utilize a stamp bag dataset to examine trends in illegal drugs in Allegheny County, Pennsylvania. Specifically, we aim to build and describe a database of stamp bag information from 2010 through 2017, evaluate geographic trends in illegal drugs across the county and over time, and describe the rapid rise in illicit fentanyl and emerging synthetic drugs using these data.
Public Health Significance: the dataset we are using is a departure from traditional measures in public health with a focus on the rapid rise of illicit fentanyl. Stamp bag data has not been used to evaluate public health problems as compared to morbidity and mortality data. In public health peer-reviewed literature, this data has not been described or used to evaluate patterns in illegal drug supply.


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Item Type: University of Pittsburgh ETD
Status: Unpublished
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Creppage, Kathleenkec108@pit.edukec108
ETD Committee:
TitleMemberEmail AddressPitt UsernameORCID
Committee ChairFabio,
Committee MemberBuchanich, Jeanine
Committee MemberSonger, Thomas
Committee MemberWisniewski, Stephen
Committee MemberWilliams,
Date: 28 September 2018
Date Type: Publication
Defense Date: 15 June 2018
Approval Date: 28 September 2018
Submission Date: 3 September 2018
Access Restriction: 5 year -- Restrict access to University of Pittsburgh for a period of 5 years.
Number of Pages: 157
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Schools and Programs: School of Public Health > Epidemiology
Degree: DrPH - Doctor of Public Health
Thesis Type: Doctoral Dissertation
Refereed: Yes
Uncontrolled Keywords: heroin, stamp bag, fentanyl, epidemiology, surveillance, drug evidence
Additional Information: Due to possible publications, restricting for 5 years.
Date Deposited: 28 Sep 2018 13:23
Last Modified: 01 Sep 2023 05:15


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