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Drug Abuse Trends in Modesto, California

The City of Modesto is home to approximately 201,165 people in central California – 90 miles east of San Francisco and 70 miles south of Sacramento. The area is famous for its sprawling farmlands, intersected by major highways I-5 and CA-99. In Modesto’s Stanislaus County, one in four employees works in agriculture or manufacturing. However, the area is also notorious for high crime rates (often linked to substance abuse) stemming from robbery and assault.

The most commonly abused substances in Modesto are:

In 2015, Stanislaus County saw 167 deaths due to overdose. Of the most commonly abused substances, 50 were caused by opioids, 26 by heroin, and 34 by meth. Alcohol, in particular, is also responsible for large numbers of drunk driving deaths and injury. The county has higher rates of excessive drinking (17.5%) and driving deaths involving alcohol (27.7%) than most of California’s southern counties. Moreover, alcohol contributes to many overdose deaths when abused with other depressants. Drinking while taking prescription opioids can quickly lead to overdose, breathing impairment, and death.

Meth Abuse and Crime

For the past few decades, meth has remained a top issue in Modesto. The County’s Drug Enforcement Agency continues to focus on meth and its related drug trafficking organizations. Because meth damages the brain, decision-making abilities, and mood, crime is heavily linked to its use. Accordingly, Modesto has endured crime rates higher than state and national averages – often perpetrated by substance abuse sufferers trying to sustain their addiction. Residents of Modesto have a 1 in 22 chance of being the victim of a property crime (compared to 1 in 39 for the state).

However, studies have shown that detox and addiction treatment programs can help people live substance-free lives. These programs have also reduced drug-related crime and rates of recidivism. If a resident’s addiction leads to criminal charges, Stanislaus County maintains a drug court as an alternative to jail for some defendants. For residents who think they’re unable to afford addiction treatment, the County offers a range of services and payment methods. Also, groups like Narcotics Anonymous and Crystal Meth Anonymous (in nearby Stockton) can provide support and help people with specific addictions recover.

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Substance Abuse Statistics for Modesto


heroin-related deaths

In 2016, 11 Stanislaus County residents died of heroin overdose, down from 26 the year before.


per 100,000

The county’s rate of substance abuse hospitalizations is 1,035 per 100,000 residents between 15 and 24.



27.7% of county driving deaths involved alcohol between 2011 and 2015.

Addiction Treatment in Modesto

When looking to recover in Modesto, the city offers a number of detox and addiction treatment centers, both public and privately-funded. Medically-supervised detox and medication-assisted treatment are accessible, and some centers provide these services on a sliding fee scale. County Behavioral Health and Recovery Services also provide:

  • Addiction assessments
  • Residential treatment
  • Intensive outpatient treatment
  • Withdrawal management

Get Help Today

To end the cycle of addiction, reach out to a dedicated addiction provider today and get information about local and national addiction treatment centers.

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Government Programs

Find local government programs that promote sober living and will help you find peace in your day to day life.

Name Location Phone
Stanislaus Valley groups NA Area (SVGNA) PO Box 578399
Modesto, CA 95357

College Programs

Psychological Counseling Services

California State University-Stanislaus

At the California State University, Stanislaus the missions of the Psychological Counseling Services center is to ensure the students have a successful experience at their academic and social ac...

One University Circle
Turlock, California 95382

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