POLLOCK and coauthors1 describe apparent discrepancies in two surveillance systems—the Drug Abuse Warning Network (DAWN), a survey of medical examiners and coroners, and the national vital statistics system—that monitor cocaine-related deaths.
Over the years studied, both data systems did an excellent job of recording the dramatic increases in cocaine-related mortality. During the study period, the national vital statistics system reported a fivefold increase in cocaine-related deaths and DAWN reported a sixfold increase. Agreement in trends between these two major data systems confirms increasing cocaine-related mortality during this period of dramatic changes in cocaine use.
Schuster CR. Monitoring the Impact of Cocaine. JAMA. 1991;266(16):2273. doi:10.1001/jama.1991.03470160105042