Ohio Substance Abuse Monitoring (OSAM)

The Ohio Substance Abuse Monitoring (OSAM) Network consists of eight regional epidemiologists (REPIs)* located in the following regions: Akron-Canton, Athens, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Columbus, Dayton, Toledo and Youngstown. The OSAM Network conducts focus groups and individual qualitative interviews with active and recovering drug users and community professionals (treatment providers, law enforcement officials, etc.) to produce epidemiological descriptions of local substance abuse trends. Qualitative findings are supplemented with available statistical data such as coroner’s reports and crime laboratory data. Mass media sources such as local newspapers are also monitored for information related to substance abuse trends. Once integrated, these valuable sources provide the Ohio Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services (OhioMHAS) with a real-time method of providing accurate epidemiologic descriptions that policy makers need to plan appropriate prevention and intervention strategies.