There are approximately 37,253,956 people that currently reside in California as of 2010. Drug and alcohol abuse in California is a growing problem.
Alcohol Abuse in California
Out of the 37,253,956 people residing in California, 17,136,820 do not consume alcohol and 10,058,568 report that they drink alcohol once a week or less. So, 26,822,848 people in California do not drink at a level that would be considered unhealthy or abusive. However, 9,313,489 people in California drink enough alcohol on a regular basis to be considered abusers of alcohol.
Getting yourself or someone you love into an alcohol treatment center is vital to recovering from alcohol abuse. There are 75,000 alcohol related deaths each year with an annual economic cost of 184 billion dollars.
Studies on the effects of alcohol advertising on adults in the state of California do not show a strong connection between alcohol advertisements and alcohol consumption. However, studies on the effects of alcohol advertising consistently indicate that children in California that are exposed to these types of advertisements are more likely to have a favorable attitude toward drinking alcohol and are more likely to become underage drinkers and communicate the intention to most likely drink as an adult.
Drug Abuse Statistics in California
Approximately 3,501,872 people in California abuse some type of illegal drug.
A breakdown of this percentage shows the following:
- 623,333 people abuse alcohol and another drug in California
- 563,801 people abuse marijuana in California
- 479,756 people are addicted to or abuse Heroin in California
- 346,685 people smoke cocaine (crack) in California
- 304,663 people use stimulants in California
- 147,079 people use or abuse Opiates (not heroin), in California
- 140,075 people use cocaine (e.g., cocaine powder, not crack cocaine) in California
- 14,007 people in California abuse tranquilizers
- 7,354 people use or abuse PCP in California
- 7,004 people in California are addicted to or abusing sedatives
- 3,852 people use hallucinogens such as lsd or ecstasy in California
- 3,502 people in California abuse Inhalants
- 17,509 people use some other type of illegal drug in the state of California
With such a large number of people in California abusing drugs or alcohol, it is critical to help these individuals get into some type of drug or alcohol treatment program. Addictionca.com provides a wide range of information on all types of drug and alcohol facilities in California. If you need further information, you can call and speak to one of our registered drug counselors for assistance in finding a drug and/or alcohol treatment facility. These services are provided free of charge and the call is toll-free.
Each drug rehab in California has a different approach to the recovery process. Take note of what is important to you, and make decisions based on your personal needs. Keep in mind that in California there are a multitude of treatment options to choose from: outpatient treatment, in patient treatment, support groups, drug rehabilitation, alcohol rehab, drug treatment programs, sober living, halfway houses, long term treatment, short term treatment, counseling, and many more. An individual can become thoroughly confused by asking a half-dozen recovering alcoholics or drug addicts in California how they conquered their abuse of alcohol or drugs; the answers vary although each of them are convincing and emotional. They will cite such diverse approaches as hospitalization, diet, exercise, counseling, sauna's, religion, hypnosis, amino acids and self-help groups. When it comes to successful treatment, only one thing is certain: practically any approach will work for some of the people, some of the time. To put it another way, successful drug rehabilitation is like a designer suit- it's got to be tailor-made for each individual. A great deal of variation exists in the degree of dependence among drug users. The teenager who smokes marijuana three times a week is not as dependent as the thirty year old who has smoked marijuana six times a day for 15 years and has already relapsed after being in two drug rehabilitation centers. It's obvious that these individuals need different approaches to treatment. Similarly, among cocaine users are some who use it in binge fashion, one or two days a month, and others who use it several times each day. Again, different treatment approaches are required for each case.
For those who do not have a long history of drug addiction, an outpatient treatment program might be the correct decision. This form of treatment may be a viable solution for those who have a brief drug addiction history. These individuals might only need the guidance and counseling available though this method of treatment. On the other hand, those who have experienced an extended period of drug addiction, choosing the correct drug rehab program typically means that they should enter into an in patient drug rehab program not located in California. The structure, 24-hour support and change of enviornment made available through this type of drug rehab recovery program can be highly effective for those recovering from a long term drug addiction problem. Most drug rehab professionals in do not recommend any one "best" treatment approach, recognizing the many variations among drug and alcohol abusers. In general, the levels of treatment range from simple and behavioral to complex and medical. The person dependent upon drugs or alcohol may have used the chosen substance for so long that he or she has literally forgotten how to cope with the daily challenges of life; how to have a meaningful, drug-free lifestyle; or how to solve the social or psychological problems that prompted the substance abuse in the first place. In these instances, a very comprehensive approach must be prescribed if the individual is to expect any degree of successful recovery. Once stability is achieved, the "clean" or sober individual can take several steps to enhance recovery and avoid relapse. Among the general recommendations are belonging to a group as a support system, having a religious involvement, practicing good health habits; including proper diet, sleep, and exercise, as well as goal planning and self enhancement projects.
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California State Facts
California Population: 37,253,956
Law Enforcement Officers in California: 85,736
California Prison Population: 239,900
California Probation Population: 350,768
Violent Crime Rate National Ranking: 10
2004 Federal Drug Seizures in California
Cocaine: 3,186.6 kgs.
Heroin: 121.4 kgs.
Methamphetamine: 786.5 kgs.
Marijuana: 131,871.5 kgs.
Ecstasy: 329,973 tablets
Methamphetamine Laboratories: 470 (DEA, state, and local)
California Drug Situation: Due to California’s diverse culture and unique geography, there are many issues that affect the drug situation in California. Most of the illicit drugs such as cocaine, heroin, methamphetamine, and marijuana are smuggled into California from Mexico; however, methamphetamine and marijuana are produced or cultivated in large quantities within the state. San Diego and Imperial Counties remain a principal transshipment zone for a variety of drugs – cocaine, heroin, marijuana and methamphetamine – smuggled from Mexico. Most California drug traffickers/organizations that are encountered by law enforcement continue to be polydrug traffickers rather than specializing in one type of drug. Since September 11, 2001, greater emphasis has been placed on carefully screening people and vehicles at all California Ports of Entry into the U.S. from Mexico. This has forced drug traffickers to resort to other means of smuggling drugs and contraband into California, including the use of tunnels that run underneath the border and more sophisticated hidden compartments in vehicles. Los Angeles is a distribution center for all types of illicit drugs destined for other major metropolitan areas throughout the U.S. as well as locally. Increased security measures at Los Angeles International Airport continue to deter drug traffickers from traveling through the airport. Although the northern half of California is awash in methamphetamine in more rural areas, heroin remains the number one drug of abuse in San Francisco, heroin and crack cocaine continue to impact Oakland, and methamphetamine continues in and around Sacramento.
Cocaine in California: Mexican trafficking organizations, working closely with Colombian suppliers, dominate the wholesale cocaine trade. However, the Mexican traffickers continue to specialize in cross-border cocaine transportation by air, land and sea. Based on consistent seizures by U.S. Customs personnel (BICE), the majority of the cocaine destined for the U.S. continues to enter the country by land conveyance through the Ports of Entry along the California/Mexico border. Typically, traffickers transport the cocaine to Los Angeles in vehicles with hidden compartments and then offload the cocaine into stash houses. Cocaine is readily available throughout California with Los Angeles remaining one of the nation’s largest cocaine transshipment and distribution centers. Cocaine is also widely available in San Francisco and other areas of northern California.
Heroin in California: California-based law enforcement agencies primarily seize Mexican black tar heroin throughout the state as well as brown tar heroin to a lesser extent. Mexican black tar heroin is usually smuggled into California in amounts of five pounds or less, but occasionally law enforcement seizes larger amounts. In addition, Southeast Asian, Southwest Asian, and Colombian heroin seizures periodically occur throughout the state. The increased availability of high purity heroin that can be snorted allows a new, younger population to use heroin without a syringe and needle. Drug rehabilitation professionals report that these new heroin users ingest large amounts of heroin and become addicted very quickly. Law enforcement officials normally encounter ethnic West African and Southeast Asian nationals in the distribution and transportation of Asian heroin. California does not have any noticeable heroin abuse in its Asian communities. Reports that high purity Colombian heroin is now available in the counties surrounding Los Angeles is supported by the recent seizure of 200 grams of Colombian heroin by law enforcement in Ventura County. A 40,000 poppy plant grow was discovered by hikers in the Sierra National Forest in June 2003. That was the only poppy grow located in California in recent history.
Methamphetamine in California: Methamphetamine is the primary drug threat in California. Mexican organizations continue to dominate the production and distribution of high-quality meth, while a secondary trafficking group, composed primarily of Caucasians, operates small, unsophisticated methamphetamine laboratories. Clandestine meth laboratories can be found in any location throughout California: high density residential neighborhoods, sparsely populated rural areas, remote desert locations in the southern portions of California, and the forested areas in northern California. In recent years, there has a decrease in the number of meth labs seized within California and an increase in the number of meth labs found just south of the border in Mexico. Rural areas in the Central Valley of California are the source of most of the meth produced in California and seized elsewhere. Regardless, there has been not been a decrease in the availability of methamphetamine originating from (or transshipped through) California and seized elsewhere in the U.S. Within California itself, Hispanics and Caucasians are the almost exclusive consumers of meth. Purity levels of meth have ranged from a low of ten percent to a high of 100 percent purity. As the supply of pseudoephedrine from Canada has diminished after successful law enforcement operations, there has been a noticeable increase in pseudoephedrine and ephedrine seized that originated from China.
Club Drugs in California: MDMA, otherwise known as Ecstasy was considered the most popular “club drug” in California among teens and young adults, however there are indicators that Ecstasy use may be decreasing across the board, yet consistently available in geographical pockets. First, the Partnership for a Drug Free America conducted a study released in February 2004 which stated the use of Ecstasy among teenagers “had dropped 25 percent in the last two years, (that) decrease translates into an additional 770,000 teens rejecting the once trendy drug.” Second, California law enforcement has targeted rave promoters in the San Diego county area, resulting in their inability to hold such events and thereby decreasing the possibility for distribution of Ecstasy through that channel. Recent studies indicate that use of MDMA is expanding from raves and clubs into schools, malls and residences. Although Israeli and Russian organized crime still dominate the importation and distribution of MDMA, primarily from the Netherlands, new poly-drug trafficking organizations are also emerging. Specifically, Asian groups that are producing MDMA in Canada and Vietnam and smuggling the drug into California have recently been encountered by law enforcement. MDMA is widely available in Los Angeles, which is one of three major gateway cities for the influx of MDMA into the U.S. (Miami and New York are the other two cities). Compton (near Los Angeles) remains a primary source of PCP throughout the U.S. Street gangs continue to control both production and distribution of PCP. Though not as widely popular as most rave drugs, LSD remains readily available throughout the Los Angeles area. The ample supply of LSD is due to the number LSD laboratories operating in remote areas of Northern California, which has been the center of LSD production since the 1960’s. Internet sales of GHB and GBL persist.
Prescription Drugs in California: Due to the discrepancy in national laws between the U.S. and Mexico, the prolific “border pharmacies” within walking distance across the border in Tijuana and other Mexican border towns remain the primary source of controlled substances in the San Diego metropolitan area. Doctor shopping and prescription forgery are the primary methods of prescription drug abuse in the Los Angeles and San Francisco metropolitan areas. In Northern California, OxyContin, Vicodin, benzodiazepines and carisoprodol are the most commonly abused prescription drugs. In the Los Angeles area, Demerol, Dilaudid, Diazepam, Hydrocodone and steroids remain the principal drugs abused. The San Diego area prescription drugs of choice are Vicodin, VicodinES, Lortab, and Vicoprofen. Rohypnol remains readily available throughout the Los Angeles area, due primarily to the city’s proximity to Mexico.
Marijuana in California: Marijuana remains the most widely available and abused illicit substance in California. Large quantities of low-grade marijuana are smuggled into California from Mexico. Highly potent Canadian marijuana, commonly referred to as “BC bud” is also smuggled into the state. Potent domestic marijuana is also cultivated in sophisticated indoor, hydroponic gardens throughout California.
Crack in California: Los Angeles based gangs dominate the street level distribution of crack cocaine throughout the Los Angeles and San Diego metropolitan areas. Cocaine bought by the gangs is “rocked” or converted into crack cocaine in the Los Angeles area (including Santa Ana and Riverside) and then sold locally or distributed to other cities in California and nationally. These organizations frequently use intimidation and violence to facilitate their narcotics trafficking activities. Gang members involved in the street distribution of crack are often armed and have a propensity towards violence against other gang members whom they feel are invading their areas of control.
Other Drugs in California: Vicodin, Ritalin, Rohypnol, Ketamine, and Valium are common diverted pharmaceutical narcotics in California. Many of these narcotics are used by teens and young adults frequenting the club scene. Rohypnol is available without a prescription at pharmacies throughout Mexico. The Los Angeles area, specifically Compton, California, is the primary source for the majority of PCP found in the United States. Consequently, PCP remains readily available.
DEA Mobile Enforcement Teams: This cooperative program with state and local law enforcement counterparts was conceived in 1995 in response to the overwhelming problem of drug-related violent crime in towns and cities across the nation. There have been 409 deployments completed resulting in 16,763 arrests of violent drug criminals as of February 2004. There are three DEA Division offices in California: Los Angeles, San Diego, and San Francisco. Combined, these three divisions have completed 63 Mobile Enforcement Team (MET) deployments throughout the State of California since the inception of the program. These cities are: San Luis Obispo (2), Oxnard/Ventura, Gardena, Century, Rampart (2), Antelope Valley, El Monte, Santa Maria, Quad Cities in Los Angeles, Coachella Valley, Wilshire, Pico Rivera, Hawthorne, Inglewood, Santa Paula, Hollenbeck, Devonshire, Ontario, Pasadena, Baldwin Park, Bell Gardens, Garden Grove, Oceanside (2), El Cajon, Chula Vista, National City (2), Vista, San Diego (2), La Mesa, Escondido, San Marcos, Spring Valley, Richmond (2), Vallejo, Seaside (2), Merced (2), Modesto, Oakland (2), West Contra Costa County, Eastern Kern County, Yuba County, San Jose, Stanislaus County, Woodland (2), Salinas, Santa Cruz (2), Monterey, Sacramento, South Bureau LAPD, Corona, Azusa, and Yolo County.
DEA Regional Enforcement Teams: This program was designed to augment existing DEA division resources by targeting drug organizations operating in the United States where there is a lack of sufficient local drug law enforcement. This Program was conceived in 1999 in response to the threat posed by drug trafficking organizations that have established networks of cells to conduct drug trafficking operations in smaller, non-traditional trafficking locations in the United States. Nationwide, there have been 22 deployments completed resulting in 608 arrests of drug trafficking criminals as of February 2004. There have been four (4) Regional Enforcement Team (RET) deployments in the State of California since the inception of the program: Hayward, San Francisco (2 Phases), Riverside/Santa Ana, and San Jose.