The National Drug Early Warning System (NDEWS) was first funded by the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) in 2014 as an expansion of its longstanding Community Epidemiology Workgroup (CEWG).
Through July 2020, the first iteration of this system was overseen by researchers at the University of Maryland Center for Substance Abuse Research. Funded by NIDA as a Cooperative Agreement in April 2020, the second iteration of this center is led by our Coordinating Center, composed of scientists from the University of Florida, New York University, and Florida Atlantic University.
Through this second iteration, NDEWS will incorporate real-time surveillance to detect early signals of potential drug epidemics. Our new system implements an expanded Early Warning Network that utilizes novel surveillance methods and harmonizes and disseminates data in a rapid and timely manner. By focusing on leading indicators, the resulting system will be more responsive than reactive.
Ongoing data collection will provide an integrated and comprehensive characterization of drug use and availability by synthesizing traditional, indirect sources with new, direct sources of data, as well as on-the-ground epidemiologic investigations within high-priority areas of concern. Our Scientific Advisory Group, composed of scientists and experts from across the U.S., serves to advise NDEWS leadership regarding data indicators, harmonization, and interpretation.