One of my first projects at MedicaSafe while I was still finishing up my last year in undergrad was to visualize the treatment gap for patients with opioid use disorder.
The treatment gap refers to the lack of capacity to use buprenorphine to treat those with dire need of evidence-based pharmacological treatment for opioid use disorder in many areas in the U.S. This gap may occur partly due to the restriction on prescribing buprenorphine for medication-assisted treatment of opioid addiction to certified providers, as well as a constellation of other factors including individual physicians’ resistance and, perhaps, organizational disincentives. This problem can be particularly intense in rural or suburban areas, where rates of opioid overdose-related deaths are typically higher.
This was an independent project. I prepared data by querying the CDC Wonder database using guidelines from UCSD prof. Peter Davidson (site). I cleaned data in Excel and visualized with Tableau Public.