California hits the headlines for different things all the time. It is practically a country of its own. It is certainly independent and is known for a lot of different things. More recently, one of the most concerning things about addiction in California is the rising drug and alcohol addiction problem that is occurring there.
Legal Marijuana and Crime Rates in California
Much of the idea of legalizing marijuana was to keep it out of the hands of minors and reduce crime. There was a hope that there would no longer be a criminal industry for marijuana, and the black market would dry up. One study that was published in the Economic Journal indicated that violent crime fell by 15% when medical marijuana was legalized. However, different stories emerged throughout California’s Emerald Triangle. This area of California is made up of Humboldt, Mendocino, and Trinity Counties, and grows over 60% of the county’s marijuana. Reports from the Humboldt Sheriff Department have shown that since California legalized medical marijuana, violent crime in that jurisdiction increased. Trinity County Sherriff reported that since recreational marijuana was legalized in 2016, there has been no decrease in violent crime, but rather a steady increase.
The legalization of marijuana has led to a boom in the marijuana business that has increased the supply of two things that tempt thieves, which is cash and marijuana. When the state legalized marijuana, it did not mean that all growers within the state wanted to be legal. There are over 32,000 growers in the region, and only 3,500 had applied for a license by the end of 2017. The criminal industry has taken hold because many unlicensed farmers are not willing to file a report when they are robbed. When marijuana was legalized, it caused marijuana prices to plummet and an increased incentive to sell California marijuana out of the state. For example, marijuana from California that is sold in New York sells for more than $3000 per pound, where in California is sells for around $300 per pound.
The Opioid Epidemic in the state of California
The opioid crisis has definitely affected California, as it has affected the whole nation. To confirm this, we will look over some data provided by the California Opioid Overdose Surveillance Dashboard for 2018. In that year only, there were 2 428 deaths related to any opioid overdose, and 786 of those were linked to overdoses on fentanyl. Then, there were 8 832 visits to emergency departments that had to do with opioid overdoses of any kind. Finally, the most alarming number of them all is the opioid prescriptions dispensed in California. In 2018, there were 19 808 prescriptions for opioids that were dispensed, and those may have potentially contributed to an individual’s new or existent addiction to these drugs. California has definitely been suffering from the consequences of the opioid epidemic, and to this day, it continues to be affected by it.
Drug Overdoses Within California
When someone abuses drugs, there comes a point when they do not realize how much drugs they are taking, and when that happens, it can potentially cause drug overdoses, and in the worst case, it can cause death. Within California, the three counties that have suffered the most deaths from drug overdoses between 2015 and 2017 are Los Angeles County with 2 470 deaths, San Diego County with 1 336 deaths, and Orange County with 1 168 deaths, according to County Health Rankings. All these numbers are mortality rates calculated per 100 000 population. This is why the state of California needs help, just to reverse what has already been done, and to avoid it from continually happening.
Organizations Helping in the Fight Against Substance Abuse in California
We will go over two of the organizations and coalitions that are working to prevent and fight against substance abuse in California State. First, there is the Statewide Opioid Safety (SOS) Workgroup, which brings together many other organizations, so they can collaborate to address the opioid epidemic and its consequences, and so they can create activities that promote messages that show the truth about opioid abuse and addiction. There is also the Coalition for a Drug-Free California, which has many programs, all with the common goal of reducing substance abuse within the state, and these include youth programs, public awareness campaigns, and programs to inform and assist students in the schools of California. Everything they do is to make California a safer and healthier place to be in.
Below, you will find a list of the different substance abuse treatment available in the state of California. The list may be incomplete, so if you cannot find what you are looking for, please do not hesitate to contact one of our treatment specialists now at 1-800-304-2219.