Want to see exactly how opiate prescriptions by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs grew in your area after 9/11? We’ve just made it even easier to get the data behind our reporting on the VA’s nationwide opiate epidemic.
As we’ve reported, the VA has made progress in reducing the number of veterans receiving opiates. But a new inspector general report released today reveals a host of problems with the agency’s prescription practices.
If you’re interested in downloading a clean version of the data we obtained through Freedom of Information Act requests, simply fill out the form below. You’ll get a zip file that includes a spreadsheet with the number and rate of prescriptions for four types of opiates – oxycodone, morphine, methadone and hydrocodone – as well as the number of patients at each of the 131 health care systems in the VA’s database, which broadly correspond to metropolitan areas.
The file also contains a readme document explaining the fields in the spreadsheet and how to credit The Center for Investigative Reporting in your work.
We’re hoping that making the data available to all will help inform even more local reporting on the issue. For a detailed walk-through of how to localize the data for your area, read our previous explainer on using our interactive map for your own reporting. Get a look at how we obtained and analyzed the data here. If you’re more advanced with Web development and data analysis, you also can use our data API.