wave on beach shore

Southern California Drug Addiction: Facts and Statistics

SoCal Detox
SoCal Detox

SoCal Detox editorial contributors include writers, editors, mental health and substance abuse treatment professionals who are trained to create credible and authoritative health information that is accurate, informative, and easy to understand.

Drug addiction is an equal opportunity destroyer of lives. No matter what age, sex, cultural background, family history or socioeconomic status, the devastating effects of substance abuse can be felt in communities from coast to coast. While many picture drug abuse and addiction happening primarily in the endless sprawl of urban areas, substance abuse is also ever present in the comforts of suburbia and the relatively safety of rural areas. This is especially true in the postcard perfect environment of Southern California.

While the cities and communities that make up the Southern California landscape offer an idyllic lifestyle and all the trappings of success, they also harbor a dark secret–drug and alcohol addiction. As the national consciousness focuses on the growing epidemic of drug abuse, this awareness also needs to focus on the substance abuse issues that plague Southern California.

If you, a loved one or a friend is struggling with an addiction to drugs and alcohol, finding experienced professional help is crucial in breaking the vicious cycle of addiction. Your journey to lasting sobriety starts with medical detoxification, and the detox programs featured at SoCal Detox will restore your physical and mental health and will provide you the tools you need to build a solid program of recovery. Call us today!

Why is Southern California a Hotspot for Drug Abuse and Addiction?

Southern California has long been an area where drug abuse and addiction has flourished, and the main reason for this phenomenon is its’ location. Southern California seems to have everything people could ever wish for. From miles of beautiful beaches and snowy mountains to thriving industries and prestigious universities, countless millions of people have flocked to Southern California from all parts of the world.

Along with the great melting pot of people and cultures, Southern California is also located in close proximity to the Mexican border. This is the prime location for domestic and international drug smugglers to conduct business. Southern California also features extensive transportation facilities which make it the perfect distribution point for drugs going north and drugs being distributed across the rest of the country, and of course, for drugs intended to be sold to local users. Southern California is dotted with airports and airstrips and features a sprawling Interstate system in which drug smugglers and dealers can easily transport and sell their product.

man's hands shooting heroin

Heroin Use On The Rise in Southern California

As with the rest of the country, Southern California has experienced a significant surge in heroin usage. According to statistics provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), heroin use increased 63% between 2002 and 2013, and heroin-related overdose deaths have nearly quadrupled over the same time period. In 2013 an estimated 517,000 people reported that they had used heroin in the last year or had a heroin-related dependence, a 150% increase from 2007.

Like in other parts of the country, heroin use has moved from being an urban problem that affected poor minority populations and has spread into the suburbs. The face of heroin addiction today is young and white. Over the past several years, heroin overdose deaths have started to spike again after a short period of leveling off. In Los Angeles County for example, there were 225 heroin deaths in 2010. That number plunged to 29 in 2012, but crept up to 46 in 2013 according to information from the Los Angeles County Coroner’s Office.

Prescription Painkiller Abuse in Southern California

Along with heroin, prescription painkiller abuse has become a major issue in Southern California as well as the rest of the county. Nationwide, drug overdoses have become the number one cause of death. in 2014, 47,055 Americans died from drug overdoses, and half of those were attributed to either prescription painkillers or heroin.

As with other parts of the country, one of the main factors in the spread of painkiller abuse has been the overprescribing of these medications by doctors. A study that was published last year in the journal JAMA Internal Medicine showed that majority of opioid painkillers aren’t being prescribed by run-of-the-mill family doctors and general practitioners.

Earlier this year, a Rowland Heights doctor was sentenced to 30 years to life in prison for the murders of three of her patients who fatally overdosed. The doctor, Hsiu-Ying “Lisa” Tseng, was charged with second-degree murder and was also found to have falsified medical records and continued over prescribing painkiller medications for financial gain.

prescription pills in bottle

Other Drug Issues in Southern California

While prescription painkiller and heroin have dominated discussion in regards to the drug epidemic in Southern California, there are other drugs which are also causing major concern such as methamphetamine. In the last couple of years, there has been a surge in the production and distribution of the drug from Mexican cartels.

According to information from an article published in VICE News, Meth seizures along the Mexico-California border and at the San Diego airport and seaport quadrupled from 3,693 to 14,732 pounds between 2009 and 2014. In the last couple of years, butane honey oil–commonly known as hash oil–has grown in popularity among marijuana users.

A highly concentrated form of marijuana, users experience a more intense euphoria. While smoking butane honey oil won’t kill users, making the drug can. In 2014, 32 people in California were killed due to explosions in the process of making butane honey oil. Marijuana is extracted and boiled down using butane, which is odorless and highly flammable. Because of the highly flammable nature of butane, it only takes a small spark of electricity to ignite and cause an explosion.

Are You Struggling With Substance Abuse? SoCal Detox Can Help!

If you or a loved one is struggling in the grips of an addiction to drugs and alcohol, you may feel that you are beyond help. While you may feel helpless, there is quality help that is available to you that will assist you in breaking the vicious cycle of addiction once and for all. As one of the premier detox facilities in Southern California, SoCal Detox provides quality medical detox programs that can help any addict. Call us today and be on the road to recovery.

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