Washington, D.C. area
Kay Springer, media contact
DAWN, like SAMHSA (Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration – see below), is a division of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services that tracks drug overdose statistics. As its web site, http://dawninfo.samhsa.gov/about/, puts it, DAWN “monitors drug-related hospital (ED) visits and drug-related deaths to track the impact of drug use, misuse and abuse in the U.S.”
DAWN produces reports based on drug-related mortality and emergency treatment around the U.S. Unfortunately, the data in the agency's reports are usually quite dated by the time they appear. In addition, a reconfiguration of the agency three years ago changed the way it gathers and tabulates its information so completely that statistical reports produced by the agency prior to 2005 cannot be compared with more recent data.
Despite this, the agency's emergency room and death registry statistics can give useful insights into the severity of drug abuse.