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by Destiny Bezrutczyk ❘  

Drug And Alcohol Addiction In Fresno, California

Fresno sits in the center of the San Joaquin Valley and is an agricultural hub for the state of California. Its mostly rural landscape makes it ideal for concealing clandestine drug labs and substance abuse. Once known as “The City Addicted to Crystal Meth,” Fresno has had one of the highest rates of Meth abuse in the country. Fresno County’s Department of Behavioral Health has stated that 29% of its residents abuse Meth, while 25% abuse Marijuana, 18% abuse Heroin or other Opiates, and 1.5% abuse Cocaine/Crack.

Treatment centers, of both the inpatient and outpatient variety, have been incentivized to offer their services in and around Fresno precisely because of the scope of the addiction and mental health crisis; those seeking help have many options to choose from.

High rates of illicit substance abuse have correlated with high levels of crime, poverty, disease transmission, and child abuse in Fresno. The city has also had 3 times the national average of intravenous drug users. In addition to violent crimes, those suffering a Meth addiction can enter a “Meth rage” and become a serious danger to themselves and those around them. The effects of Meth may last up to 50 times longer than Cocaine and can lead to paranoia and impaired cognitive ability. Chronic abuse of the harsh chemicals in Meth may result in psychosis, wherein addiction sufferers hear voices and experience hallucinations.

After California enacted the Combat Methamphetamine Act in 2005, the sale of some cold medications containing pseudoephedrine and ephedrine became regulated. This slowed the ability of many Meth labs to produce large quantities of the drug. However, in the following years, Mexican drug trafficking organizations (DTOs) began importing Meth through the US-Mexico border. From 2009 to 2010, Methamphetamine busts in the Valley more than tripled. Today, the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) believes that large tracts of farmland with isolated outbuildings still pose a substantial threat. According to the DEA, at least 80% of America’s Meth reportedly has come from Fresno and surrounding areas of the Valley.

Addiction And Drug Abuse Statistics For Fresno


Inside Fresno County, the mean age someone first tries drugs and/or alcohol is within 12-14 years old.


In 2020, 66% of Fresno County’s overdose fatalities (that involved only 1 drug) involved Meth.


In hospital admissions of residents over 55, Heroin has been the reported primary drug of choice.

The Rise Of Opioid Abuse In Fresno

As the number of prescription painkillers being used in the US increased, the abuse of Opioids and Heroin occurring in the Valley increased as well. Especially common in Fresno is the abuse of Fentanyl—a synthetic Opioid and crossover drug for many Heroin users. Prescription versions of Fentanyl are powerful painkillers given to cancer patients and the terminally ill, while a street version is even more potent. Fentanyl is 30 to 50 times stronger than Heroin; mere contact with skin can cause a fatal overdose.

Break free from addiction.

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Addiction Treatment Services In Fresno

The County of Fresno Department of Behavioral Health and Substance Use Disorders monitors the region’s treatment programs through careful accreditation and funding. Fresno focuses its addiction rehabilitation efforts on prevention, intervention, and treatment services, giving residents multiple opportunities to seek recovery within their area.

Public recovery services are available to everyone, with funding in place to secure treatment regardless of income. Private treatment centers may offer additional therapy methods and a wide array of amenities that can increase the comfort of the treatment process.

If you or a loved one is battling addiction, there is hope. For more information on treatment options, contact a treatment provider today.

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