Sample Nursing Coursework Paper on Analyzing Published Research on Opioid Crisis

Analyzing Published Research on Opioids Crisis

            Published or posted information tends to educate, inform, or persuade the audience on a particular topic. However, not all the published information is true or helpful in a given subject matter. As such, an analysis needs to be carried out on online articles or published journals to establish the credibility of the information they represent. Therefore, this essay focuses on analyzing Cicero (2019) and NIDA (2019), to establish their relevance regarding the opioid crisis.

Clinical Question

Problem Description

The continuous intake of OPRs leads to addiction. Taking an overdose of these drugs leads to early death, hence a reduction in their use is mandatory. However, when the use of PODs was reduced, the patients turned to heroin; a dangerous opioid drug (Cicero, 2018). According to Cicero (2018), the “cure” may have worsened the crisis and brought more serious problems. This led to more deaths than ever before.

The Significance of the Problem

A hundred and thirty people die in the U.S annually due to opioids overdose, and the survivors turn to addicts of opioids. According to recent statistics by NIDA (2019), in 2017, 47,000 people died due to the large intake of heroin, PODs, and fentanyl. Moreover, 1.7 million persons were into PODs and 652,000 people to heroin. Patients who overuse PODs ended-up using heroin.

As the government reduces access to PODs, users find themselves switching to heroin. However, using heroin brings “transmission of blood-borne pathogens from sharing needles, cardiovascular problems, and other medical complications” (Cicero, 2018).  Because of the possibility of taking an overdose when using heroin, it kills many people compared to PODs.

Purpose of the Paper

This paper aims at applying research techniques on published or posted content to check for credibility in the opioid crisis research field. This will be done by checking at currency, relevance, authority, accuracy, and purpose. This method scrutinizes three published nursing sources for credibility and their significance in evidence-based exercise.

Descriptions of the Findings

Matrix Evidence Table

ArticleReferencePurpose Hypothesis Study questionVariables Independent (I) Dependent (D)Study DesignSample Size and SelectionData Collection MethodsMajor Findings
Cicero, T. J. (2018).Is a reduction in access to prescription opioids the cure for the current opioid crisis? American Journal of Public Health, 108(10), 1322–1323.https://doi-org.chamberlainuniversity .2018.304648How does the reduction in PODs affect the current opioid crisis?PODs – I Opioids crisis – DQualitative DesignN-31 States which were selected based on data collected by the CDC.Interviews were administered to the selected sample.Reducing the supply of prescription opioids drugs has led to patients turning to heroin (Cicero, 2018). The introduction of correction facilities of patients addicted to PODs reduced overdose deaths by 12% (Cicero, 2018).
NIDA. (2019). Opioid overdose crisis. Retrieved from https://www. abuse/opioids/opioid-overdose-crisis.Educates on how misuse of PODs has brought about increased cases of addiction and overdose-related deaths.PODs – I Overdose deaths and addiction – DQuantitative DesignN- 16 States. The cities located in these states were the major areas of interest.Interviews. The interviews were carried out on the patients of PODs and their doctors. Additionally, families with patients treated with PODs or died of such addiction were interviewed.The opioid crisis came about due to misguided information from physicians that intake of PODs cannot lead to addiction (NIDA, 2019). Four to six percent of patients that misuse PODs transit to heroin addiction (NIDA, 2019). The Department of health and human services has put up measures to reduce opioid addiction and deaths (NIDA, 2019).
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (2018). US drug overdose deaths continue to rise; increase fueled by synthetic opioids [press release]. Retrieved from releases/2018/p0329-drug-overdosedeaths.html.  How does current overdose death rise related to synthetic opioids?Synthetic Opioids – I Overdose deaths – DQuantitative ResearchN-31 StatesQuestionnaire and Experimental data analysis of patientsCDC estimates $78.5 billion “economic burden” is used annually for the treatment of health issues associated with opioids abuse. Also according to their research, overdosing death rates increased to 21.5 percent, with deaths as a result of synthetic opioids increasing doubly, those due to PODs overdose increased by 10.6 percent and overdose deaths as a result of heroin amplified by19.5 percent (2018).


            Concepts. The major concepts discussed by the authors of the articles are health and its promotion and illness. Patients addicted to opioids are taken to correction centers where they are given medication such as methadone in a controlled amount to treat overdose-related problems. Additionally, the authors explain illnesses brought about by reducing PODs. The uncontrolled heroin and sharing of needles can lead to increased HIV infections.

            Methods. The interview has been used in both the articles to establish the trend and the number of people affected by the reduction of PODs.

            Participants. In the two articles, the sample was selected from high-populated areas of prominent states of America. The participants include the people affected directly by PODs or indirectly such as family members.

            Instruments Used. To gather the needed information, tools used included oral and written detailed interviews that captured demographics and relevant information about the research.

            The answer to the “Purpose” question. After scrutinizing the two sources, they are current (2018, &2019), relevant to the opioid crisis, the authors of all the sources are trusted, the percentages and other data are accurate with the aim of informing the audience on the current opioids crisis. The articles show how reducing PODs leads to increased use of heroin and overdose deaths instead of reducing the crisis.

               Identify the next step for the group. The previous assignment was on searching the best article that elaborates the topic. This assignment checks for the credibility of the information contained in these sources about the given topic. The next step will be to use these sources to come up with a comprehensive research paper on the opioid crisis.


 The two sources analyzed in this paper are current and relevant to the topic under discussion. The sample selected for research in both cases is large enough to give a clear picture of the current opioid crisis. Also, the major findings obtained in both sources give firm evidence of the current opioid crisis.


Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (2018). US drug overdose deaths continue to rise; increase fueled by synthetic opioids [press release]. Retrieved from releases/2018/p0329-drug-overdosedeaths.html.

Cicero, T. J. (2018). Is a reduction in access to prescription opioids the cure for the current opioid crisis? American Journal of Public Health, 108(10), 1322–1323.

NIDA. (2019). Opioid overdose crisis. Retrieved from