The opioid epidemic has hit the U.S. in a way that’s shaken our population to its very core. California has been no stranger to addiction in the past. The large size of the state combined with its proximity to the border has made it a prime target for drug traffickers and any number of different manufacturing labs.
The state has also taken a more relaxed stance on the medicinal use of substances like marijuana, creating an air of controversy around drug use for many. Prescription drug abuse has skyrocketed, and the more populated areas are seeing an increase in overdose deaths.
The primary problem right now revolves around prescription drug abuse and opioids. There’s a gap between available rehab facilities and the number of people that need them, and this has led to addiction becoming entirely out of control in some areas.
Understanding the drug problem is the first step toward learning to control it. California has always struggled with drugs and addiction among the population, but they’ve also taken a revolutionary stance on treatment facilities and social problems.
High Intensity Drug Trafficking Areas (HIDTA)
Government agencies have designated areas in Northern and Southern California as High Intensity Drug Trafficking Areas. This indicates that these areas are primary points of entry into the state or country for different drugs. They may also be places where drugs are manufactured at a fairly high concentration.
Having this type of designation results in a larger presence of law enforcement and interest by appropriate government agencies. The drug enforcement agency can come up with plans and interact with local authorities in an attempt to better stanch the flow of drugs into the country and state.
For a long time, the manufacturing of methamphetamine was the primary problem in many of these areas. Trafficking of cocaine and transforming it into crack cocaine were also a major factor in determining the intensity of the drug problem.
Tons of marijuana are also shipped up from Mexico, defeating many of the legalities offered by the state. While marijuana carries a considerably lesser penalty than other drugs, it’s still posed a strategic problem for many in law enforcement. There are times when authorities must choose to dedicate their attention to more dangerous drugs being brought in.
Heroin has become one of the most popular drugs in California. This follows new regulations placed on prescription drugs making them more difficult for people to obtain. There have been outbreaks surrounding the use of fentanyl and other opioids creating a serious risk of overdose deaths.
The diversity of the population combined with larger borders have created a huge market for illegal drugs within California. There are entire communities that have learned to treat the drug trade as a steady source of income. This is a direct result of extreme poverty combined with availability of illegal substances.
Club drugs and psychedelics are also still in demand in many areas of the state. California really reflects the way that addiction doesn’t discriminate; whether a person is wealthy and in the public eye, or they struggle to feed themselves and their family on a daily basis, they’ve all been swept up in a disease that this country is still struggling to control.
Treating addiction in California has been particularly difficult because of the diverse population and the individual nature of the disease itself. Places like Hope Treatment Rehab Services in California have started to create programs that provide customized care on a more personalized basis.
This is very important because no two addicts are alike. Many people struggling with addiction have underlying problems with mental illness or have struggled with personal trauma at some point in their lives.
Self-medicating is also very common for those suffering from addiction co-occurring with mental illness or a physical problem. Some people aren’t able to get the help that they need for things like chronic pain, anxiety, depression, or post-traumatic stress disorder. They may turn to drugs and alcohol as a way to treat themselves or make themselves feel better on a daily basis. Unfortunately, this often leads to long-term addiction requiring the help of a dual diagnosis treatment center.
Dual diagnosis treatment centers are able to offer programs focusing on more than one disorder. They don’t just treat addiction, they also treat the underlying causes and physical symptoms associated with it. This can be everything from mental illness to physical problems.
Many of these centers will also need to include full-service medical facilities in order to better assist those suffering from legitimate medical issues. These are also facilities that may be better equipped to deal with the difficult detox associated with opiate withdrawals.
Inpatient and outpatient facilities are available all throughout California. Not everyone requires a residential treatment program in order to reach sobriety. It’s entirely a matter of how long the person has used drugs and alcohol, their reasons behind the use, and their level of addiction.
Success with Therapy
One of the best things about a state like California is the progressive nature of their therapeutic options. They are able to offer everything from holistic therapies to cognitive and behavioral ones focusing on teaching people to live without using drugs and alcohol. There are also a number of medication management therapies available for those that may need things like methadone or Suboxone to successfully stop using opioids.
The goal of every treatment program is to help people live a sober and safe life. Many addicted individuals don’t believe that they are capable of living without the feelings created by using drugs and alcohol. They must learn to be self-sufficient, and to understand their potential for living a happy life without a chemical crutch.
Addiction is a very real disease, and one that can be fatal if not treated appropriately. Seeking help is not a sign of weakness—it’s a sign of personal strength and fortitude. It shows that the individual suffering from addiction values their life enough to understand the negative impact the drugs and alcohol are having on it.
Everyone deserves a chance at happiness and finding the right licensed treatment facility can help.