California used to be known as the Wild West. Today, the state has made a name for itself for the demand for social rights and equality, passionate arts movement, and progress in innovation and new technology. However, the rates of substance abuse and addiction are also high among its residents.
The California Healthcare Foundation released a report in 2018 showing that around 6 percent of the entire population of the state was dependent on alcohol while another 3 percent was struggling with illicit drug abuse and addiction.
The same report showed that although around 8 percent of the population could receive a positive diagnosis for a substance use disorder, only about 10 percent of this number ends up seeking the addiction treatment and rehabilitation services that they need.
The CDC - the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention - on the other hand, reported that California was not quite as vulnerable as other states to the American opioid epidemic. In 2017, for instance, it lost 2,199 lives to a drug overdose involving opioids.
That year, the state reported 5.3 deaths for every segment of 100,000 people while the United States as a whole experienced 14.6 deaths for a similar segment of the population. This is not surprising considering that California enjoys a high quality health care system, strong and reliable social support system, and many unique rehabilitation and treatment opportunities. However, this is not to state that it has not been touched by the opioid epidemic.
In fact, the numbers of opioid drug overdose deaths in California rose from 500 fatalities in 2000 to close to about 2,200 by 2019. Although heroin and opiates contribute to this increase, prescription opiates were the biggest drug threat in the state. Deaths linked to these prescription pain relief medications more than doubled from 2000 to 2001.
Insys Therapeutics has reported that there is relaxed regulation of the prescription of opioids in California. When you combine this with fraud and corporate bribes, it is not surprising that many of these legal drugs find their way illegally to the hands of opioid abusers.
The state also has one of the most widespread as well as perhaps most destructive drug rings in the United States. These rings mostly target the disconnected and rural communities of California. This is why it is not exactly uprising that 21 million prescriptions for opioids were recently filled out in a town in the state that had a population of fewer than 3,000 people.
Apart from prescription opioids that continue being distributed through the legal medical system, other new and even more powerful drugs have found their way into the local market. Fentanyl, for instance, is increasingly becoming common and leading to a rise in the number of drug overdose related deaths among local residents.
Luckily, there are a number of licensed and accredited addiction treatment and rehabilitation facilities in the state. If you have been diagnosed with a substance use disorder involving opioids or any other intoxicating and mind altering drug in California, you should consider enrolling in one of these centers so that you can get the help that you need to achieve a state of long term sobriety, recovery, health, and wellness.