How to Use the DOSE Dashboard

The DOSE Dashboard provides current data on nonfatal drug overdoses captured by CDC’s DOSE system (Read more about DOSE). The dashboard provides monthly and annual information on changes in nonfatal drug overdoses reported by 47 states and the District of Columbia. We refer to both states and the District of Columbia as “states” here and throughout the dashboard.

Accessing the DOSE Dashboard

The DOSE Dashboard is best viewed on a desktop computer. It is also accessible in mobile and tablet views.

Browser Requirements:

  • Microsoft Edge
  • Google Chrome
  • Mozilla Firefox

Dashboard Functions and Tools

The dashboard controls at the top allow you to display and query information for current and previous months and years. Descriptions of the dashboard features are listed below.

Screen capture for steps 1-4
  1. Select a drug: The drop-down menu lists four types of drugs: all drugs, all opioids, heroin, and all stimulants.
  2. Select a state: DOSE receives data from health departments in 47 states and the District of Columbia. California, Hawaii, Iowa, Nebraska, Oklahoma, and Minnesota do not share syndromic surveillance data and are labeled as “data not available” on the map.
  3. Compare month/year with the previous: Select either “month” or “year” for comparison.
  4. Select the timeframe for comparison: After you select “month” or “year” in the drop-down, the date slider will adjust so that you can select the adjacent month or previous year comparison. Click and drag the date indicator to the desired month or year comparison. After selections are made in the tool above, several features will change in the graphics and tables below.

If United States is selected in the drop-down, see notes 5-9 below:

Screen capture for steps 5-9
  1. Monthly/Annual Percent Change in US: As you adjust the drug types and time periods, this summary data point will display the percentage change in emergency department visits for drug overdose rates in adjacent months in a given year (e.g., February 20XX compared to January 20XX) or the same month in a previous year (e.g., January 20XX compared to January 20YY) for the US.
  2. Number of states: As you adjust the drug types and time periods, this summary data point will display the number of states (including the District of Columbia) with significant increases in emergency department visit rates involving drug overdose.
  3. Number of states participating: As you adjust the drug types and time periods, this summary data point will display the number of states with data available for analysis. States are missing from analysis for various reasons. Please refer to the graphics, data table footnotes, and color legend for the reasons why states are missing from analysis.
  4. The color legend: Orange shows a significant increase at p<.05, blue depicts a significant decrease at p<.05, and dark grey depicts no significant change. The lighter grey indicates data are not available or not reported due to issues noted in the * footnote. States in white are unfunded and do not share data with DOSE.
  5. Ability to select a state within the map: If you select United States in the drop-down feature, you can still select a state in the map for state-specific results. You can hover over the state to view the state name, the percentage change, and whether or not the change was significant.

If a state is selected in the drop-down or in the map see notes 10-19 below:

Screen capture for steps 10-15 Screen capture for steps 16-17 Screen capture for steps 18-19
  1. Monthly/Annual Percent Change in US: As you adjust the drug types and time periods, this summary data point will display the percentage change in emergency department visits for drug overdose rates in adjacent months in a given year (e.g., February 20XX compared to January 20XX) or the same month in a previous year (e.g., January 20XX compared to January 20YY) for the US.
  2. Monthly/Annual Percent Change in a selected state: As you adjust the drug types and time periods, this summary data point will display the percentage change in emergency department visit for drug overdose rates in adjacent months in a given year (e.g., February 20XX compared to January 20XX) or the same month in a previous year (e.g., January 20XX compared to January 20YY) for the selected state.
  3. Number of states participating: As you adjust the drug types and time periods, this summary data point will display the number of states with data available for analysis. States are missing from analysis for various reasons. Please refer to the graphics, data table footnotes, and color legend for the reasons why states are missing from analysis.
  4. The color legend: Orange shows a significant increase at p<.05, blue depicts a significant decrease at p<.05, and dark grey depicts no significant change. The lighter grey indicates data are not available or not reported due to issues noted in the * footnote. States in white are unfunded and do not share data with DOSE.
  5. The selected state becomes highlighted: After you select a state in the drop-down or the map, the selected state will have a bolded black line around it.
  6. Reset: Use the reset button above the map to clear any state selections.
  7. Comparing the US to a state: Figures for the state selected in the drop-down or in the map will display in this section; however, you can use this feature to select a different state without having to scroll to the top of the page to select a new state or select a new state in the map.
  8. Changes in past 6 comparison time points for a state: When a state is selected you will see two figures depicting data from the last 6 months (if month is selected) or last 6 annual comparisons, when available (if year is selected). The x-axis shows the adjacent month-to-month comparison or the month comparisons in a previous year. The y-axis is the percentage change. This figure is for the selected state. The lollipop figures are color-coded based on the legend.
  9. Changes in past 6 comparison time points for the US: When a state is selected you will see two figures depicting data from the last 6 months (if month is selected) or last 6 annual comparisons, when available (if year is selected). The x-axis shows the adjacent month-to-month comparison or the month comparisons in a previous year. The y-axis is the percentage change. This figure is for the US. The lollipop figures are color-coded based on the legend.
  10. Asterisks within the graph: If an asterisk is displayed for a specific state, drug type, or time period, data are not available for reporting or are suppressed. Reasons for suppression are described in the footnotes.

Sex and Age Group Comparisons

Data on US changes between sexes and age groups are located below the map. See notes 20-22 below:

Screen capture for steps 20-21 Screen capture for step 22
  1. Selecting sex or age comparisons: Use the toggle button to select sex or age.
  2. Changes in past 6 comparison time points for the US by sex: After selecting sex, you will see two figures depicting data from the last 6 months (if month is selected) or last 6 annual comparisons, when available (if year is selected) for males and females. The adjacent month-to-month comparison or the month comparisons in a previous year are on the x-axis. The y-axis is the percentage change. The lollipop figures are color-coded based on the legend. This figure is for the US only, and state-specific sex breakdowns are not available.
  3. Changes in past 6 comparison time points for the US by age: After selecting age, you will see five figures depicting data from the last 6 months (if month is selected) or last 6 annual comparisons, when available (if year is selected) for persons aged 0-14 years, 15-24 years, 25-34 years, 35-54 years, and 55+ years. The adjacent month-to-month comparison or the month comparisons in a previous year are on the x-axis. The y-axis is the percentage change. The lollipop figures are color-coded based on the legend. This figure is for the US only, and state-specific age group breakdowns are not available.

Data Tables and Important Data Considerations

When you make selections in the tool above, the Trends by State data table will also adjust. See notes 23-25 below:

Screen capture for steps 23-25
  1. Trends by state data table: Select the “+” to expand the accordion and see the extended table. This data table changes as drug types and time periods are adjusted. Percentage change for the US and by state are included. In addition, the table includes color-coded hexagons in the percentage change column depicting significance levels according to the color legend. Important footnotes are located directly under the table.
  2. Important data considerations: Select the “+” to expand the accordion for important data limitations and considerations to assist in interpretation of results.
  3. Data download: All months and years of data for the US, state, sex, and age are available in the “Download Data (CSV)” file.

Additional Information on the Download Data (CSV) File

The “Download Data (CSV)” file can be opened in Microsoft Excel. The file includes several footnotes in the first few rows that explain important details within the table. The following four footnotes are represented in Columns C and D of the excel file:

  • * Data were collected for the time period beginning January 2018 but exclude several months during the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic (i.e., March 2020-August 2020). In some cases, the funded state did not provide CDC enough months of data to calculate percent change. Rates are suppressed when based on <20 overdoses; thus no percent change is available; for more information, please see Healthy People 2010 Criteria for Data Suppression.pdf icon
  • § The state does not share data from syndromic surveillance systems with DOSE.
  • ¶ State does not participate in OD2A DOSE ED data sharing.
  • ** Certain comparisons include data from two syndromic surveillance systems; some differences between the systems exist, such as the percent of missing discharge diagnosis codes.

Below is a brief data dictionary of all columns included in the file:

DOSE dashboard data dictionary

Suggested Citation

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Drug Overdose Surveillance and Epidemiology (DOSE) System. Atlanta, GA: US Department of Health and Human Services, CDC; [INSERT YEAR, MONTH, DAY]. https://www.cdc.gov/drugoverdose/nonfatal/dashboard

Questions and Support

The CDC DOSE System is a product of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Questions about this dashboard should be directed to DOSE@cdc.gov.

Access the latest guideline, data, and resources