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Addressing the epidemic of opioid in America


The rates of option pain reliever abuse have in the recent years increased sharply in the  United States. The aim of this study is to find out the personal experiences of Americans with the problem of opioid pain abuse and reliever use and their vices concerning the factors causing it, the seriousness of this epidemic and their responsibility in addressing the problem. The study will also find out of these opioid-dependent users do support the policies passed by the government to resolve the epidemic (Hansen et al. 2011).

Rationale for identified target population

A nationally representative sample of US adults (n=1111) will be in this study. The choice of the American adults aged 18 to 64 years with an experience of opioid dependence and abuse is an appropriate population for this study. They will participate in the study via a web-based survey which provides an efficient means for data collections. The study is appropriate for this study because it focuses on a small yet a representative sample of the whole community. The most crucial aspect about survey sample is how well the sample represents the interests of the community and the entire population. The representative sample (n=1111) is a right number of potential respondents that uses an appropriate way of not systematically excluding any single group from the community. The cross-section is from the sample frame of the complete lists or every representation with the target population for the survey.

Method for determining appropriate sample size

The best sample size is to have a sampling frame that identifies the individuals who will do the survey. A well -constructed sample will provide a survey that is relatively few compared to the target population. The individuals selection for the survey is the survey sample. Having a sample of n=1111 in this study is a number that serves as a token in representing the larger American population of individuals who have experienced the opioid-related problems. The use of a random selection of these individuals aged 18 to 64 years will be vital is identifying the survey sample and makes it possible to generalize the results of the study and apply the same information to the whole target population. Choosing the right size of the sample from the sampling frame is possible after considering the research budget and the marginal error. The marginal errors should not be larger than 5% points near any percentage estimate (Rivers, 2012).

The rationale for selecting the data collection methodology

The design of this research is the public opinion survey. The researcher will file a web-based survey on public opinion from June 31st to July 28th, 2016 to find out the views of opioid pain reliever abuse from a national sample of American adults aged 18 to 64 years. The participants for the study will be sampled randomly from a wide online panel derived from the GFk Survey firm. Many researchers have used this panel to find out the public attitude towards the various public health issues (Terhanian, 2008). The panelist of GfK recruitment is via the address-based sampling that covers almost 97% households in America. Apart from the present household address, internet access ad computers were provided when the panelists were willing to participate. The panel also included those households with unlisted and listed numbers alongside a cell-phone for household purposes only. The non-responders were sent an e-mail reminder on the third day of the field duration to maximize the rate of response, and other additional reminders sending on the tenth, 20th and 25th day. From the 18th day, telephone calls to remind the nonresponders will be made. Each responder will receive a cash ward of $10. The survey describes the prescription pain medications to include opioid pain relievers including its medicinal view.

The choice of the most appropriate method for data collection is crucial for me to attain the best response rate. The use of the public opinion survey was considered within the context of targeted population the kind of information to be collected, the survey objectives, time constraints, and the research budget.


The descriptive or comparative statistics appropriate for your health care problem

From the data collected it will be possible to calculate the respondent’s proportion of those agreeing with every statement of the survey as well as those supporting the policies passed. In making the right estimates concerning the most appropriate size of the sample that represents the uses population each statistical data analyses makes use of survey weights and make adjustments to the sample for a known selection survey or deviation. The comparative statistics involves the way respondents ranked the opioid pain reliever abuse about other health issues. The respondents will be expected to either rank these problems as an extremely serious or severe health issue or at the midpoint. Other health issues to compare with include tobacco smoking and use, alcohol abuse, gun violence or less serious that illegal drug abuse, heart disease, obesity, cancer, and diabetes.

The descriptive data will also be about the opinions of respondents on the causes of abusing opioid pain reliever. Some of the causes include lack of understanding how one can easily become addicted to the drug, lack of self-discipline, improper disposal, and storage. Other causes included the ones on physician- oriented where a patient is kept using the option pain relievers for a long duration.

The statistical tests for analyzing the data

The descriptive statistics is also or finding of the difference in attitudes among responded who have had a personal experience in abuse of opinion pain reliever through the use of Pearson’s χ2 test. It is also possible to define the personal experience of users. The descriptive statistics defined the personal experiences of participants such as their personal problem with using and abusing the opioid pain reliever, their reported experiences of opioid abuses among close friends and family members. The statistics on supporting policy measures the research tested whether the participants supported the policies and their differences of their opinions according to their political party affiliation. Within the US political systems, the citizens with liberal views on political matters do vote for the Democratic Party while those with conservative views do vote for the Republican Party. The independents are the moderates. The data survey was analyzed using the Stata 12® (Walker, Pettit, & Rubinson, 2009).



Hansen  N, Oster G, Woody G, Sullivan S.and Edelsberg J. (2011). Economic costs of non-medical use of prescription opioids. ClinJ Pain 2011; 27: 194–202.

Rivers, D. (2012) Notes on inferences with non-probability samples.  Annual Conference of the American Association for Public Opinion Research. 

Terhanian, G . (2008) Changing times, changing modes: the future of public opinion polling? Journal of Elections, Public Opinion, and Parties, 18, 4, pp. 331–342

Walker, R ., Pettit, R . & Rubinson, J . (2009) The Foundations of Online Research Quality– Executive Summary 3: Inter Study Comparability and Benchmark Analysis. New York: Advertising Research Foundation.

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