Opioids Epidemiology in Riverside County - Essay Sample

Published: 2023-12-15
Opioids Epidemiology in Riverside County - Essay Sample
Type of paper:  Essay
Categories:  Abuse Substance abuse
Pages: 3
Wordcount: 571 words
5 min read


With the increase of opioid abuse in Riverside County, there is also an increased overdose rate from opioids. As of 2014, the nation reported a high rate of opioid-related deaths from Riverside County with over 14000 deaths (Napier & Kaiser, 2018). These increasing deaths from opioids have made it hard for public health officers and lawmakers to overcome the pandemic in Riverside county.

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The main reason for opioid addiction is the increasing rate of painkiller prescriptions. When an individual is more dependent on these drugs, and they can no longer get it from a doctor, they will end up using other means like turning to illegal substances like opioids or heroin. Unfortunately, acquiring opioids and heroin is much easier and cheaper than painkillers, therefore enticing more people to substance abuse. The following graph represents the opioid-related inpatient hospitalization and ED visits in Riverside county.

Incidence and Prevalence of Opioid

Incidence of opioids epidemiology in Riverside County is represented as the occurrence of the disease-free population, which later acquire the disease during a specific period. Prevalence, on the other, is the number of people who are ill at a certain period. Many epidemiologists use incidence to mean the number of new cases per particular population, while others define it as only the number of new cases. Incidence proportion is calculated by dividing the number of new cases or deaths in a certain period to the population's size at the beginning of the period. On the other hand, the incarceration rate is calculated by dividing the number of new cases or deaths in a certain period to the time a person was observed and totaled for every person.

Point prevalence can be calculated by dividing the number of current (preexisting and new) cases within a particular period to the total population at the same particular time and point. Period prevalence, on the other hand, can be calculated by dividing the number of current cases (preexisting and new) cases at a certain period to the mid-interval or average population.

The department of public health in California found out that at least 107 people die yearly from an opioid overdose. From 2014 to 2016, there was a 9% increase in opioid addiction from outpatients (Shah, 2019). There is a high rate of opioid abuse in Riverside County that the government may not be giving it serious attention. In 2015, the strategic health alliance did a health assessment and published that the rates of opioid overdose death rates in riverside have continued to rise each year. The following graph shows the death rate due to opioid overdose per 100 000 Riverside County residents. Between 2007 and 2009, there was an opioid overdose of 11.5 per 100,000 residents. The rate rose to 13.3 between 2011 and 2013 (Napier & Kaiser, 2018).


In 2015, the lawmakers in Riverside county developed new steps to fight opioid epidemiology by educating the public on abuse and the consequences of opioids and increasing access to medical assistance and treatment opportunities (Shah, 2019). Also, the development of a prescription drug monitoring program (PDMP) is a technology that assists physicians in prescribing the correct amounts to their patients. More addiction treatment programs should be developed to assist and support those addicted to opioids.


Napier, R., Hetherington, W., & Kaiser, C. (2018, November). Overdose and Opioid Deaths in Riverside County, CA. In APHA's 2018 Annual Meeting & Expo (Nov. 10-Nov. 14). American Public Health Association.

Shah, S. (2019). Opioid-related Emergency Department Visits and Their Relationship to Age and Gender (Doctoral dissertation, California Baptist University).

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