Outbreaks of drug problems often come to public attention first via media reports. NDEWS conducts periodic searches of published news articles as well as special scans for specific drugs. Both trend and content analyses are conducted of scan results to monitor trends in the number and type of news reports.
In July of 2018, NDEWS lost access to LexisNexis Academic which suspended future scans of the ALLNWS database. NDEWS retained monthly scans of approximately 38 drugs and drug terms from January 2015 through May 2018. The University of Maryland replaced LexisNexis Academic with a new database and interface named Nexis Uni. NDEWS has begun to explore how to create a similar scanning system to track newspaper article mentions over time with this database.