Fentanyl Epidemic: County using partnerships, prevention to attack overdoses

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These statistics, provided by the Riverside Overdose Data to Action team at the Riverside University Health System – Public Health, shows the manner in which overdoses involving fentanyl have skyrocketed over the past three years in Riverside County. Valley News Graphic by Jeff Pack/Shane Gibson photo
Jeff Pack Staff Writer In 2016 there were 10 overdoses related to fentanyl in Riverside County, a synthetic opioid that is 80-100 times stronger than morphine.  In 2017, that number grew to 28 overdose deaths. In 2018, there were 53.  In 2019, according to numbers still being calculated by the Riverside Overdose Data to Action team assembled by Riverside University Health System – Public Health (RCPH), 122 could be attributed to the inclusion of fentanyl in overdose deaths.  “In terms of specifically for fentanyl, it's really scary,” said Wendy Hetherington, MPH, Chief, Epidemiology and Program Evaluation/Vital Records for Riverside Overdose Data to Action at RCPH. “If you look at our fentanyl overdoses, we had five, maybe, a year since 2013 and then starting in 201
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