For drug usage, we combined three different measures to form what we call a DSA score, standing for drug-smoking-alcohol. The drug score was obtained by simply summing the rate of fatal overdoses from drug and poison for each county. The DSA score was obtained by summing this drug score with the percentage of population with smoking and alcohol addiction. We also used any permutations of this score such as DA, S, or SA each representing their corresponding sum of addiction percentages.
Drugs/poisons include: Analgesic, anti-anxiety, anti-convulsant, anti-depressant, anti-histamine, anti-psychotic, cannabinoids, medical, muscle relaxant, narcotic, stimulant, others. Fatalities are counted by locality of residence, not locality of occurrence.
We compared DSA scores against student performance and socioeconomic status and provided ways to visualize and compare this data in the hope that this would show us characteristics of the data that we weren’t able to see before.
Each county’s educational success, measured by graduation rates, and socioeconomic status, measured by composite index, came from VLDS (Virginia Longitudinal Data System). Drug usage, excessive smoking and alcohol use came from VDH (Virginia Department of Health).