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by Krystina Murray | ❘
Riverside County, the 10th largest county in the country by population and home to Riverside, California is becoming one of the biggest drug trafficking distribution centers in the United States. Riverside’s location along Interstate 10 is a big part of the city’s drug problem. Many of the drugs trafficked from Mexico are transported along the interstate to Los Angeles, Northern California, and other states. Consequently, Riverside’s Interstate 10 is gaining the reputation of being a drug pipeline for illicit substances.
Fortunately, southern California is home to many rehab and treatment facilities that provide various services to help free those suffering from abuse and addiction.
In the first 7 months of 2021, there were 158 deaths in Riverside County where Fentanyl, a deadly synthetic Opioid, was either present or a significant contributor to the cause of death. Since 2016, there has been an 800% increase in Fentanyl-related deaths in the county.
Like many other US cities, Riverside is no stranger to the ongoing Opioid epidemic. Nationwide, Opioid-induced deaths have increased over the last few years due to the COVID-19 pandemic; from May of 2019 to the same month of 2020, approximately 81,230 people died of a drug overdose. This constitutes as the largest number ever recorded over a 12-month period.
Riverside County has higher rates of Methamphetamine abuse compared to other counties, and these are increasing. Over the course of 2 years, local officials brought down a massive Meth ring where they confiscated more than 150 pounds of the substance, over $31,000 in cash, and arrested 12 suspects. According to reports, these perpetrators were smuggling the drugs from Mexico.
Riverside has witnessed high rates of alcohol abuse in various populations. This does not discount underaged victims of alcohol abuse. 18% of Riverside adults report heavy or binge drinking. Binge drinking is a hazardous pattern of drinking too much. It is defined as 4 or more drinks for women and 5 or more drinks for men within the span of 2 hours.
Statistics for Riverside alcoholism in previous years revealed 40% of men 18 years and older in Riverside County were binge drinking. In contrast, 20% of Riverside women were binge drinkers. In 2008, 11,487 people were arrested for alcohol-related crimes, most whom were males aged 18 to 44.
Binge drinking has many dangerous effects, often leading to a higher risk of alcohol abuse. People who binge drink may do activities that endanger others, such as driving, damaging vehicles, damaging property, and behavioral misconduct.
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One of the biggest concerns many have surrounding binge drinking is alcoholism. People who binge drink often can transition to excessive everyday drinking. Once they develop a tolerance to high amounts of alcohol, they can crave more and more alcohol. Alcohol can be used for everyday occurrences or to self-medicate underlying conditions, therefore temporarily seeming to treat depression, trauma, or anxiety. However, alcohol actually makes these conditions dramatically worse in the long term. In addition to risking future alcohol abuse, people who binge drink are at risk of:
Those suffering with increased binge drinking will also be out of control and may struggle with quitting excess drinking.
There is always a chance for recovery. The key to freedom from substance abuse is taking action. If you or a loved one suffers from the painful effects of drug and alcohol abuse, contact a treatment provider today. Providers will answer questions on the treatment process and provide information needed to make you trust your decision. Contact a provider today, and begin your journey into freedom.
Krystina Murray has received a B.A. in English at Georgia State University, has over 5 years of professional writing and editing experience, and over 15 years of overall writing experience. She enjoys traveling, fitness, crafting, and spreading awareness of addiction recovery to help people transform their lives.
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