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 epidemiological descriptions that policymakers need to plan appropriate prevention and intervention strategies.
The OSAM Network creates three types of publications:
In addition to its six-month drug trend reporting, OSAM publishes Targeted Response Initiative (TRI) and Mental Health Initiative (MHI) reports. TRIs are designed to address specific populations/drug abuse trends and other addiction-related concerns (e.g., problem and pathological gambling, employment needs of persons receiving treatment for substance use disorder [SUD]), while MHIs examine topics related to mental health. Topics of interest for TRIs and MHIs are identified by OhioMHAS leadership and data for these reports are gathered on an as-needed basis.