A federal grant of just over $7 million was awarded to the Riverside University Health System for programs intended to prevent or reduce opioid abuse and deaths stemming from addictions, Riverside County health officials announced Thursday.
“The funding will help (RUHS) gather critical information that will help prevent tragedies and the senseless loss of life caused by opioids,” RUHS Public Health Director Kim Saruwatari said. “We already know this epidemic strikes everywhere, but we will now be better able to determine where to target precious resources.”
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control & Prevention provided the three-year, $7.1 million grant to enhance tracking of opioid-related overdoses and, based on that data, establish collaborative prevention measures that focus on individuals and communities at higher risk of opioid abuse, officials said.
One of the efforts will include formation of a “rapid response” unit that can bring resources to bear where outbreaks have been most intense, according to RUHS.
There were 142 opioid-related deaths countywide in 2018, compared with 77 in 2007, according to data.
Drug-related deaths in general totaled 431 in 2018, compared with 214 in 2007, officials said.
>> Want to read more stories like this? Get our Free Daily Newsletters Here!Follow us: