Addiction in Santa Clarita, California
Santa Clarita, California is located just 30 minutes north of Los Angeles and home to scenic views of the Santa Clarita valley and hillside. Despite the beautiful setting, Santa Clarita is a city struggling with substance abuse. Los Angeles County (which includes Santa Clarita) has had high and increased risks of alcohol, methamphetamine, and heroin use over the past few years.
Meth Use is on the Rise
Methamphetamine, or “meth,” use in Santa Clarita area has shown an upward trend within the past few years. Most of the meth available in the US is produced in Mexico and smuggled across the Southwest Border. According to the 2015 National Drug Threat Survey, 87% of state and local law enforcement agencies reported that high purity meth can be easily obtained at any time in the Southwest California region, which is higher than that reported in all other states and regions of the US. Meth is extremely addictive; someone can become addicted after even just one use. For the year of 2016, meth ranked number one for primary drug treatment admissions for Los Angeles County, with 7,659 patients admitted. Compared with admissions for other major illicit drugs, primary meth admissions had the largest proportion of females. Additionally, in 2016, there was an increase in the number of Los Angeles County medical examiner cases testing positive for methamphetamine. Meth now has the highest number of drug reports, accounting for 41.1% of all Los Angeles County police drug reports in 2017.
Meth in the Los Angeles County area has been increasingly documented to be mixed with fentanyl, a drug 50 times stronger than heroin. Fentanyl-related deaths in California tripled between 2016-2017, showing an alarming trend of increased cutting use by local drug dealers.
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Alcohol Abuse in Santa Clarita
From the years 2010-2014 in Los Angeles County, 2,916 death certificates listed an alcohol and other drugs-related cause of death each year, accounting for 5% of all deaths. Alcohol has become a major concern for the Santa Clarita area as increased alcohol use increases the chances of negative consequences for the community, including:
- Motor vehicle accidents
- Emergency room visits
Los Angeles County youth are at particular risk for alcohol abuse as more and more high school age students are beginning to drink. Of a 2015 Lifetime Use of Selected Substances survey of public high school students, 53% identified as drinking at least once or more during their lifetimes. Youth alcohol abuse increases the chance of an individual developing a substance use disorder later on in life. The young adult age group of 18-25 has the highest rate of binge drinking for Santa Clarita, ranking at 34.4%.
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Heroin Abuse in Santa Clarita
The Los Angeles County Medical Association estimates that hospitals in California treat one heroin or opioid overdose every 45 minutes. Although rates of prescription opioid abuse in Santa Clarita have actually been down, heroin use has been steadily rising. In 2015, 9,392 Los Angeles County treatment admissions reported heroin as the primary drug of treatment. Treatment admissions for heroin have stayed high, with the primary age group of users being in the 26-44 age range. Los Angeles High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (LA HIDTA) reported that law enforcement operations related to heroin increased during 2015 and have stayed constant through 2018.
Both black tar heroin and Mexican brown heroin have become increasingly available in the area due to new trafficking trends, causing officials to fear an even bigger surge of heroin-related overdoses and death in the Los Angeles County region.
If you or a loved one are struggling with addiction, know that you are not alone. Alcoholism and drug dependency can occur due to many complex reasons and can seem impossible to face; however, there are resources that can help. The Santa Clarita area is home to countless counseling groups and residential treatment facilities, and there are numerous more throughout the state of California. If you’re ready to end your battle with addiction, contact a dedicated treatment provider to learn about your options today.