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September 22, 2022 | Tom Ballard

ETSU, partners develop ‘Recovery Ecosystem Index Mapping Tool’

East Tennessee State University (ETSU) has joined with NORC at the University of Chicago and the Fletcher Group Inc. to develop and release the first-ever interactive data visualization tool that enables users to measure the strength of substance use recovery ecosystems for every county in the U.S. and explore associations with overdose deaths and other sociodemographic and economic factors.

According to this news release from ETSU, the term “recovery ecosystem” is used to describe the factors in a community that support individuals in recovery from substance use disorder. The new “Recovery Ecosystem Index Mapping Tool” integrates the Recovery Ecosystem Index, overdose mortality rates, and data on poverty, education, and other demographic factors for counties in each of the 50 states.

Users can then compare county-level information to the rest of their state and to the nation. The tool allows community organizations, policymakers, researchers, substance use treatment providers, other decision-makers, and the general public to explore county-level maps and create data dashboards to understand these factors in their communities and where additional resources are most needed to provide support to individuals in recovery. Insights derived from this tool can be used to target resources and interventions to enhance recovery ecosystems.

“This tool will help our community, and communities across the nation, to identify resources and services that will support individuals on their recovery journey,” said ETSU President Brian Noland. “We are proud to have contributed the experience and expertise of our Addiction Science Center and our Center for Rural Health Research to such an important endeavor.”

NORC was established in 1941 as an independent research institution that deliver​s reliable data and rigorous analysis. The Fletcher Group researches and provides best-practice technical assistance to expand the quality and capacity of recovery housing as well as the evidence-based services needed for long-term recovery.

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