Detecting Opioid Distribution Networks Using Network Modeling and Community-based Intelligence

Open pill bottle laying on its side with pills falling out.

Published by the National Institute of Justice (NIJ), this NIJ supported study focused on the work of researchers from Pennsylvania State and Syracuse Universities to find novel ways to characterize and, ultimately inhibit, opioid distribution networks through data-driven network analysis and the use of citizen intelligence. The work focuses on six Pennsylvania counties well-known for drug trafficking along the interstate highway system. The goals of the study were to (1) define the structure of opioid distribution networks based on observed and computer-modeled opioid networks and (2) assess the ability of community-based intelligence to characterize local opioid supply networks and markets through the use of publicly available police administration data on overdose and drug-related incidents, as well as the solicitation of community input.

To read a copy of the study, visit