Riverside University Health System has received a $7.1 million grant from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control that will be used to help prevent opioid overdoses in Riverside County.
The three-year donation will also be used to identify county residents who have had adverse childhood and community experiences that could lead to opioid use, said Kim Saruwatari, the health system’s public health director.
“The funding will help public health gather critical information that will help prevent tragedies and the senseless loss of life caused by opioids,” Saruwatari said in a statement. “We already know this epidemic strikes everywhere, but we will now be better able to determine where to target precious resources.”
The grant will pay for a monthly overdose death review team. It will also help develop rapid response to overdose outbreaks.
In 2018, there were 142 opioid-related deaths in Riverside County, up from 77 in 2007. There were 431 drug-related deaths in Riverside County in 2018, up from 214 in 2007, according to the statement.