Web Application to Investigate Butler County Overdose Death Data


  • Alison C. Tuiyott Department of Statistics, Miami University
  • Bri Clements Department of Statistics, Miami University; Covail
  • A. John Bailer Department of Statistics, Miami University
  • Lisa K. Mannix Butler County Coroner’s Office
  • Jennifer F. Bailer Butler County General Health District




Epidemic, Ohio, Opioid, Overdose death, R Shiny application


Background: Drug overdose deaths, specifically opioid-related deaths, are a public health crisis in the United States with high incidence observed in many Midwestern states, including Ohio. Butler County, Ohio, has the third highest opioid-related death rate in the state. Information on overdose deaths, collected by the county coroner, can serve as a data source for analysis of this public health concern. Given this access, stakeholders can investigate trends in their community for their idiosyncratic interest.
Methods: A web application was developed, using the R Shiny package, to visualize and explore the characteris-tics of all overdose deaths in Butler County between 2013 and 2018. Demographics of the decedents, drugs found in the decedents’ postmortem toxicology analyses, annual trends in overdose deaths, and the location of these cases can be examined.
Results: The web application provides a graphical user interface that allows a user to request specific analyses and summaries. “Who is dying from opioid overdoses?,” “What drugs, including opioids, are found in people dying from drug overdoses?,” and “Has the number of opioid involved deaths increased in a specific community over time?” are examples of questions that can be explored using this application.
Conclusion: This application empowers both the public and local policymakers to investigate the impact of overdose deaths on their communities. Understanding characteristics of the epidemic is an important first step to addressing this problem. The expansion of this application to include other counties in Ohio could be truly beneficial to communities that need it.


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Public Health Practice