Opioid-Related Emergency Department Visits and Their Relationship to Age and Gender

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This study examines opioid-related emergency department visits and their relationship on age and gender. Opioid abuse has increased steadily in the United States, and current research shows a drastic increase in opioid-related emergency department visits. However, a gap in literature remains when looking at the relationship of opioid-related emergency department visits with age and gender. Using a cross-sectional design, trends in age and gender were examined among opioid-related emergency department visits in Riverside County, California using secondary data from the California Office of Statewide Planning and Development (OSHPD). The OSHPD Emergency Department Encounters data file was utilized, which included data collected by the State of California from 2015 and 2016. The sample included 138 participants (85 male and 53 female) of ages 18 and older. The criteria for selection included if the individual had a principal diagnosis for an opioid-related emergency department visit in Riverside County between 2015 and 2016. A one-way analysis of variance (ANOVA) and Pearson’s Chi-Square test were used to test the hypothesized differences. Individuals who had opium, other opiates, prescription drugs, and unspecified narcotics use emergency department visits had a higher average age than individuals who had a heroin use emergency department visit. No relationship was found between gender and opioid-related emergency department visits. The public health implications and limitations from the study are discussed.
A thesis submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree Master of Public Health
Public Health