Study shows devastating impact of alcohol abuse in Riverside County

Thursday, June 30

The number of alcohol-related deaths in Riverside County nearly doubled between 2010 and 2020, according to Department of Public Health research study, which also found other impacts of alcohol abuse on the community. The study, the first of its kind for the county's Public Health Department, was released this week and can be found on the department's Epidemiology and Program Evaluation website

Among the findings:

  1. Alcohol abuse disproportionately affects males and non-Hispanic whites.
  2. About one-third of all vehicle collision fatalities involved alcohol use.
  3. The number of alcohol-related deaths almost doubled from 2010 to 2020.
  4. The Coachella Valley had the highest alcohol related mortality rate in 2020.
  5. People between the ages of 65 and 74 have the highest alcohol-related mortality rate.

“It should come as no surprise that alcohol abuse can be devastating to a community and individual families,” said Kim Saruwatari, director of Public Health for Riverside County. “It is important to be able to quantify this impact so we can work with our community partners to address the root causes of alcohol abuse and save lives.”

The study used data from a variety of sources and looked at issues such as binge drinking, alcohol-related traffic accidents, emergency room visits, hospitalizations and mortality rates in different populations and regions.