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Legacy Drug Abuse Warning Network (DAWN 1992-2011)

Legacy DAWN (data collection through 2011) was a public health surveillance system that monitored emerging drug trends in both (1) emergency department visits in hospitals and (2) deaths reported by medical examiners and coroners (ME/C) across the Nation.

Legacy DAWN was a longitudinal probability sample of hospitals located throughout the United States, including Alaska and Hawaii. Non-Federal, short-stay, general surgical and medical hospitals located in the United States, with at least one 24-hour emergency department (ED) were eligible to participate. Data were collected from a representative sample of hospitals in the Nation and select metropolitan areas. The mortality component of Legacy DAWN did not rely on a statistical sample of ME/Cs.

Data Source


Drug-related ED visits were identified through a retrospective review of ED visits in participating hospitals and decedent case files in each participating death investigation jurisdictions for ME/Cs.

Eligible drugs included:

  • Illegal or illicit drugs, such as heroin, cocaine, marijuana, and Ecstasy;
  • Prescription drugs, such as Prozac®, Vicodin®, OxyContin®, alprazolam, and methylphenidate;
  • Over-the-counter medications, including aspirin, acetaminophen, ibuprofen, and multi-ingredient cough and cold remedies;
  • Dietary supplements, including vitamins, herbal remedies, and nutritional products;
  • Psychoactive, non-pharmaceutical inhalants;
  • Alcohol in combination with drugs; and
  • For those under age 21, alcohol alone without any other drug


Annual Report

Description: Annual reports are produced every year, presenting information from a single data source.
Location: National
Format: PDF

Public Use Files

Time period: 2011
Collection date: 2011