Social Worker - Researcher/Investigator

Job Type

Full Time


Maximum: $80,000




520 1st Avenue
New York
New York
United States


HIDTA is a federally funded program that invests in partnerships to build safe and healthy communities. HIDTA programs across the country focus on reducing drug trafficking and its harmful consequences, particularly drug use and drug-related crime. To accomplish these goals, the New York/New Jersey HIDTA invests in innovative partnerships between public health and public safety agencies at the federal, state and local levels. New York City, like many other regions of the U.S., is experiencing a crisis related to opioid drug use. Accidental drug overdoses are the leading cause of unintentional deaths in NYC and overdose rates have risen 143 percent between 2010 to 2016. The majority of these deaths involve opioids, prescription or illicit, with heroin and fentanyl contributing to an increasing number of deaths in the past two years.

In an effort to reverse this trend, the NY/NJ HIDTA, through its Drug Trends Group, has partnered with the NYC Office of the Chief Medical Examiner to investigate drug overdose deaths with the goal of developing targeted drug overdose prevention strategies. This collaboration between the NY/NJ HIDTA Drug Trends Group and the NYC OCME is a cornerstone of the New York City RxStat initiative, a public health-public safety partnership involving more than 25 local, state and federal agencies that seeks to reduce the number of overdose fatalities in NYC. The RxStat Investigator’s primary role will be conducting follow-up investigations and analysis of accidental drug overdose deaths that have been reported to the Office of Chief Medical Examiner. The position will be supervised by the NY/NJ HIDTA Drug Trends Group but will report directly to the First Deputy Chief Medical Examiner, NYC Office of Chief Medical Examiner.

Job Description:

  • Implementing a standardized accidental drug overdose investigation protocol
  • Performing follow-up in-depth death investigations of all accidental drug overdose deaths occurring in NYC
  • Obtaining and examining medical records including laboratory reports
  • Conducting interviews with family members, witnesses and contacts
  • Preparing written reports based on individual interviews for inclusion in official Medical Examiner records.
  • Facilitation of the collaboration between public health and public safety entities in New York and on the RxStat Work Group, including data sharing, joint initiatives, and policy options or considerations
  • Gathering, organization, and maintenance of indicators of illicit and prescription drug use from public health and public safety sources such as hospital encounters, drug treatment records, birth records, survey data, emergency medical services files, Syringe Access Program data, death records and youth incarceration information

Preferred Qualifications & Skill Requirements:

  • LMSW; the ideal candidate has at least three years of post-graduate experience and is SIFI certified
  • Awareness of current events and policy matters pertaining to health care, behavioral health, and substance use
  • Professional familiarity with addiction medicine, trauma treatment, or bereavement counseling
  • Experience conducting case investigations, in-depth interviews, and biopsychosocial assessments
  • Ability to conduct phone and in-person interviews with relatives, friends, associates of drug overdose decedents in a sensitive, impartial manner
  • Ability to prepare well-written, well-organized reports based on individual phone and in-person interviews
  • Ability to speak and write clearly, work both collaboratively and independently, ask questions of supervisors when clarification is needed, solicit and incorporate feedback from supervisors, actively seek to improve quality of work
  • Proficiency with Excel, Word, and PowerPoint, including familiarity in formatting and design of reports, charts, graphs, and tables, OR commitment to developing proficiency through training

The individual hired for this position may require a full field background investigation. Continued employment would be contingent upon the successful adjudication of the results of this investigation.

Professional Level


Minimum Education Required

Master's degree

How To Apply