This study examines key determinants influencing the efforts of pharmacists in addressing the opioid crisis within cities characterized by varying levels of affluence.
In this cross-sectional descriptive study, surveys were distributed to pharmacies spanning four cities within Orange County in July, 2022. The cities were selected based on relative population size and were grouped as higher affluence cities (HAC) or lower affluence cities (LAC) based on median household income and poverty levels. Cities with a median household income between $94,411 — 118,014 and a poverty level of < 11.4% were considered HAC, whereas cities with incomes between $70,831 — 94,411 and a poverty level of > 11.4% were considered LAC. Pharmacists working in community pharmacies within these cities were asked to complete an anonymous survey containing fifteen questions designed to gauge pharmacists’ perspectives regarding their roles, responsibilities, and viewpoints toward the opioid crisis and actions toward supporting individuals at risk for opioid misuse. Statistical analysis was performed using R and SPSS. The study was determined to be exempt by the UCI IRB.
Lake Forest and Orange are categorized in the HAC group and were compared with Anaheim and Santa Ana, which are categorized in the LAC group. Pharmacists at 87 pharmacies were provided with the survey and 48 responses were received: 23 from HAC and 25 from LAC. Employing a combination of independent (unpaired) t-tests, Fishers’ exact tests, and x2 tests for analyzing ordinal and nominal data, it was determined that no significant differences existed between LAC and HAC cities.
The results indicate that both communities implement similar and appropriate measures in combating the opioid crisis, as revealed by the survey questions utilized in this study.