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Vermont ARCOS Opioid Data Analysis

This repo contains the analysis behind the Seven Days story "Data Dive: As Opioid Crisis Ramped Up, Pills Flowed Into Vermont by the Millions", published July 19, 2019. To view it, open analysis.ipynb.

The dataset comes from the Washington Post's cleaned version of opioid transactions from 2006 to 2012 from the ARCOS database, a DEA system designed to monitor sales and purchases of controlled substances. Downloads are available here. They've compiled some caveats and information about the dataset here. You can find additional information on data entry and field definitions in this 1997 ARCOS handbook, which also includes some very helpful pointers on loading files onto magnetic diskettes.

To run this analysis yourself, clone the repo and install the Python 3 virtual environment using Pipenv — just run pipenv install, then pipenv run jupyter lab to get the notebook up and running.

Note that the main data file, arcos-vt-statewide-itemized.tsv, is 153 MB and 336,128 rows long, so loading it in may be a little slow.

Got questions about this analysis? Found an interesting detail? Drop me a line!


Analysis of opioid prescription drug transactions for Vermont between 2006 and 2012 from the DEA's ARCOS database






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